Moving up Mountains for Global Eye Health

When Benoît Saulnier and his wife, Stephanie, started planning a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, they realized they had an opportunity to not only take on a personal goal, but to make a difference at the same time. “It’s such a big trip. It’s such a big endeavor, a big investment – we wanted to make it mean something more,” he says.

At around that same time, Saulnier, a pilot, had the opportunity to tour the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital during its visit to Ottawa. While talking to Orbis International’s Vice President of Clinical Services, Dr. Hunter Cherwek on the plane, he and Stephanie realized they had found a way to make a difference.

“We were just so inspired by the complexity of the operation and the dedication of their volunteers – from the Volunteer Faculty to the people who run Orbis from within – and we decided we wanted to try and tie this trip with Orbis in some way,” says Saulnier.

“Listening to Dr. Cherwek on the plane, he was explaining how the activities that Orbis does, not just the Flying Eye Hospital, but the country programs as well, can drastically change the lives of individual people.”

Benoit experiencing the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital during its visit to Toronto and Ottawa in 2019.

The couple reached out to Orbis and asked if there was a way to do a third-party fundraiser based on their climb, and a collaboration was born. Now, with the trip planned for summer 2022, the six hikers on their team are all part of the fundraising to bring in much-needed support for Orbis’s work preventing avoidable blindness worldwide. The team hopes to raise as much money as the height of Kilimanjaro in feet $19,340.

“We are so grateful to people like Benoit and Stephanie who make Orbis a part of their big events and, in doing so, raise essential funds to help us continue out sight-saving work,” says Orbis Canada CEO, Lisa McKeen.

The team have set up a website where friends, family and supporters can follow their journey and learn more about the work Orbis is doing around the world.

Interested in planning your own event or online campaign to fundraise for Orbis? Whether you'd like to plan a community run, hold a neighbourhood garage sale, host a games night, take on an obstacle course race, organize a bake sale, or just mark an important milestone or occasion with an online fundraising campaign, we're here to support you.

I want to organize my own event or campaign to support Orbis

Learn How
Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again