White Mountain School’s Winter Festival Weekend to Benefit the HERA Foundation

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Franconia Notch. Photo courtesy of White Mountain School Outdoor Education Department

When a student at White Mountain School (WMS), a private day and boarding high school in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, students rallied to support her and made a commitment to help fight cancer. The school recently announced that 100 percent of the proceeds from its annual Winter Fest Weekend, January 10–11, 2009, will benefit the HERA (Health, Empowerment, Research, Awareness) Women’s Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds research and awareness initiatives for ovarian cancer. The weekend includes ice-climbing and skiing workshops, a Climb for the Cure Climbathon and a presentation by climbing legend Henry Barber. The event will take place at the school, at 371 Farm Road and is open to the public.

Registration is $40, and forms are available HERE. (The full schedule of events is listed below.)

“Aligning with HERA was the idea of a student who attended a HERA Climb4Life event, and while our event is slightly different, the emphasis on community and raising awareness is the same,” explains Jaime Pollitte, director of outdoor education at White Mountain School. “Our students have learned that cancer affects people of all ages. They are determined to make a difference.”

The Climb for a Cure Climbathon is open to individuals or teams and will be held at the White Mountain School indoor climbing gym. Participants in the Climbathon can set up their own personal fundraising page at www.herafoundation.org. The top three people who raise the most money will win prizes from the HERA Foundation, and the top team of fundraisers will receive a special award.

HERA ambassador Amy Pickering, a veteran climber for over 16 years, will speak at the event. “Climbing has been a learning experience through which I developed an awareness of my ability to face difficulty,” Pickering states. “We’re helping HERA to conquer a difficult route. Creating change for this women’s health issue lies in making a concerted effort toward a goal. And as with climbing, the result of that focus and hard work will be more rewarding than at first imagined.”

Winter Festival Weekend Schedule

Saturday, January 10 (All events are held at the White Mountain School.)

  • 10:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Ice-climbing workshop

  • 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Climbathon on-site registration

  • 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Climbathon

  • 5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m. Dinner (RSVP required)

  • 7:00 p.m. Henry Barber’s Journey to the Soul – A presentation that highlights the legendary climber’s quest for self-discovery in the climbing world

Sunday, January 11

  • 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Telemark Skiing Workshop Bretton Woods Ski Resort

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), ovarian cancer occurs in one in 72 women. In 2008, an estimated 21,650 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Currently, there is no reliable method for early detection, such as the mammogram for breast cancer. Funding scientific research is therefore vital in decreasing the number of lives lost. About the HERA Foundation The HERA Foundation is a registered 501 (c) 3, whose mission is to stop the loss of mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, partners and girlfriends from ovarian cancer by empowering women to take control of their health, empowering the medical community to find new directions in ovarian cancer research and empowering communities to provide support. For more information, visit www.herafoundation.org. To schedule an interview with HERA Foundation founder Sean Patrick, please call 970.948.7360.

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