Orbis Hike for Sight a Huge Success | Orbis

Orbis Hike for Sight a Huge Success

Last summer, a team of intrepid hikers trekked up Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro—tackling 19,341 feet of rugged terrain and raising funds and awareness for Orbis Canada along the way.

Led by Benoît Saulnier and his wife, Stephanie, the team of avid hikers and adventure seekers made the nearly week-long journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro, reaching the summit on August 23. In the process, they raised more than $10,000 to support Orbis’s sight-saving work around the world.

Saulnier, a pilot and current Orbis Canada Board member, had the opportunity to tour the iconic Orbis Flying Eye Hospital during its visit to Ottawa in June 2019. While talking to Orbis International’s Vice President of Clinical Services & Technologies, Dr. Hunter Cherwek, he and Stephanie were inspired to support Orbis…in a big way!

Along with fundraising for Orbis, the hikers also detailed their adventure, capturing photos and videos that we were able to share on our social media channels as followers cheered them on virtually.

The team was also happy to be able to bring Orbis along with them up the mountain. They proudly donned Orbis t-shirts and unfurled an Orbis flag at the summit – a moment captured in photos by their guides.

Benoît Saulnier

Hike for Sight Team Leader

We are so thank­ful for all of the dona­tions that we’ve received,” says Saulnier. It’s actu­al­ly been a bit of a hum­bling expe­ri­ence going through this process and see­ing how much peo­ple believe in Orbis and this mis­sion, and how much they are will­ing to sup­port it.”

Deciding to add a fundraising element to their Mt. Kilimanjaro experience came with a learning curve, but Saulnier says that having Orbis Canada staff to support them made a huge difference. It was also a great way to give back. He hopes their experience inspires others to create their own unique fundraisers to support the cause.

“There are so many ways in which you can do that. This is just one of many different examples of things that you could do,” adds Saulnier. “I'm looking forward to seeing what other people come up with for ways to support Orbis. And I'd be happy to help out anyone who is interested in doing something like that, and sharing our experiences and our lessons learned and helping shape similar efforts.”

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