Heidi Wirtz: An Inspiring Soles Semifinalist

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Photo by Kristoffer Erickson.

Photo by Kristoffer Erickson.

Photo by Kristoffer Erickson.

Photo by Kristoffer Erickson.

Heidi Wirtz, professional climber and The North Face Athlete, up to win the Inspiring Soles Award worth $25,000

The North Face athlete and Boulder resident Heidi Wirtz, co-founder of the nonprofit Girls Education International (Girls Ed), was notified in October that she was one of five semifinalists for the Inspiring Soles Award.

Votes are now being collected to choose the finalist at the Inspiring Soles website: VOTE HERE. This contest runs from 11/20/08 - 01/10/09. Click Here for more contest information. Wirtz is the only climber in the group of athletes. Last year, Timmy O'Neill was asked to be an Inspiring Sole for his work with Paradox Sports, a nonprofit that empowers the disabled.

Created by Crocs Inc. and Outside Magazine, the Inspiring Soles Award celebrates athletes who have dedicated their lives to shattering boundaries and raising awareness for meaningful causes. Wirtz has worked tirelessly for the past two years on fundraising and implementing projects for Girls Ed, and over the years she has regularly volunteered for HERA Climb4Life events, the Khumbu Climbing School and the dZi Foundation.

Photo by Lizzy Scully / www.girlsed.org.

Heidi-binocs_13782

As a semifinalist, Wirtz received $5,000 to donate to the charity of her choice plus $500 worth of Crocs merchandise.

“It was fantastic to win that lump sum of cash,” said Wirtz of the award. “It will pay for our Liberia Scholarship Program (LSP) through spring of 2010.” Implemented as Girls Ed’s first major project, the LSP provides $71 per year, per child to 47 girls in the mountainous regions of Liberia so they can pay their school fees.

As a finalist, Wirtz would win an additional $25,000 to donate to Girls Education International, a Crocs shopping spree, a trip to Santa Monica, a full-page profile in Outside Magazine and a PSA ad for Girls Education International.

“If we win the $25,000, we could also pay for the viability assessment we need to do in a remote village in the Hushe Valley of Pakistan where we want to renovate a girls’ school,” Wirtz added, enthusiastically.

Girls Education International seeks to raise awareness and funds to help educate women and girls in impoverished areas in the mountainous regions of the world.

For more information, please visit: www.girlsed.org or write to girlsed@gmail.com.