Off to Kilimanjaro
Tomorrow, Stanstead resident Bruno Castonguay is heading to Africa with a group of about fifteen other Townshippers, all on a special mission to climb Africa’s most famous peak: Mt. Kilimanjaro. Each member of the group had to raise at least $3000 in donations, all to be given to the Fondation Claude Durocher which supports children suffering from cancer and their families.
“Our group was able to raise $56,000 (original goal was $35,000) for the Foundation; more than sixty-five families will benefit from this fundraiser. I raised over $4000 myself and there is still money coming in. Almost every granite company in this area donated money and I received lots of personal donations as well. I’d like to thank all the citizens and businesses who contributed,” said Mr. Castonguay gratefully.
The group will spend about two weeks in Africa, first getting used to the altitude before making the climb. They have been training for months, climbing high peaks in both Quebec and the United States, such as Mount Lafayette near Mount Washington in New Hampshire. “I feel physically ready. The big question will be the altitude and we can’t prepare for that. My biggest challenge will be going slow, saving my energy for the top. I’ve been working in the granite industry for twenty years where the work is heavy and you always have to push yourself, use all your strength. On the climb it will be the opposite: you have to go slow to save your oxygen,” Bruno, the owner of Centre de Polissage Beebe Inc., explained.
The group will take the long route up which goes all the way around the 19,340 foot high mountain, taking six days to climb up and two days to come down. Mr. Castonguay will be filming along the way.
Asked if he will continue mountain-climbing regularly after his return, Bruno replied: “It’s been great to discover this activity with my family and the kids like to follow me; they really get into it. And it’s a good way to stay in shape!”
This fundraising adventure can be followed on the internet at www.facebook.com/KilimanjaroFondationClaudeDurocher.
Bruno Castonguay, at left, is seen here at the top of Mt. Lafayette in New Hampshire with (l. to r.) Jacques Leroux, Marie- Lyne Dubois, Sylvain Duff and Éleine Baril, who are also all heading to Kilimanjaro.
Bruno Castonguay (back, right) on a training weekend with several other climbers heading to Mt. Kilimanjaro and his family: daughter Sandrea (left), wife Marcella Harding and son Adam (middle) and daughter Malena (right).