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Update on Community Foundation Philanthropy in Africa

Our Community, and Our World Continued

The last time I wrote a column was in May, just before my wife and I headed to Africa to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  It was an amazing trip and an amazing part of that trip was time spent with Community Foundation fundholder Susanne Pennington. A highlight of our visit was touring the school she built in Arusha, Tanzania. My wife stayed and volunteered for a week at the school and at a Catholic rehab center, as I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. [caption id="attachment_10084" align="alignleft" width="225"]Susanne Pennington, Ann and Chris Askin at Arusha School Susanne Pennington, Ann and Chris Askin at Arusha School[/caption] It is a rare treat to see this level of philanthropy in action.  We learned so much about the important work happening in Arusha, led by Susanne and a cohort of supporters in the Truckee Meadows.  300 students in the school, from the Maasai tribe, who through the support of their parents and their own strong motivation, attend the school, many walking 5 miles each way daily.  What a happy motivated group.  WOW!  Susanne is an inspiration. She is a hands-on and knowledgeable leader.  Her latest school project is constructing a new building for a kitchen and storage room. As it is coming to fruition, Susanne closely tracks and inspects the construction process. This was one of the most impactful experiences for us. We saw the profound need, and how carefully directed and monitored philanthropy can make a difference.  I could say much more, but it is enough to know that we will be back, and we will help support the school.  I know for certain our money will be well used.  It is a wonderful project. Chris-Top of Kilimanjaro-webOn another note, I promised to share the results of my climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro. I am glad to share that I made it!  With a skilled guide and incredible “supermen” porters, the trip was both challenging and enjoyable. We climbed 19,400 feet with no altitude issues.  The biggest surprise was the amount of snow and ice we had to navigate due to a 15-year high precipitation.  The last 3,000 vertical feet was made with crampons through tough ice conditions. The climb was an extraordinary life experience. As mentioned in the column a month ago before I headed out on the trip, when the Community Foundation says we help people who care with causes that matter, we mean it.  People have big dreams, and we are so privileged to help when we can. Whatever your passion, your charitable goals, please give us a call.  We will swim the widest rivers, cross the driest deserts, and climb the highest mountain to be sure you make the difference you aspire to make in the world. Happy 4th of July to you and your family.  Happy Independence Day!  As we gather with friends and family, as we celebrate, it’s a wonderful time to think about how important our freedoms are to us, and to the world as well. Chris Askin, President, and CEO  775-333-5499 Connecting people who care with causes that matter