Years ago, I heard Stephen Lewis speak at Queen’s University in my first year there. He was speaking about the war on Iraq at the time, but being Stephen Lewis, couldn’t help himself from mentioning how many billions of dollars the US had just put into their way and how many billions of dollars they took away from their original pledge to help turn the tide of AIDS. It was after this point in his speech that Lewis introduced the sold out audience to his “little foundation,” The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF). That night I went home and looked up the foundation’s website and have been a supporter ever since. If anyone knows me, they’ll know now that every year I dedicate a bit of my time, a bit of my own money and at times, some web space, to promoting this little foundation and raising awareness and funds for HIV-related issues in Africa.
Last year, the SLF started a new campaign leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1st called A Dare to Remember. With this new campaign, they dared ordinary Canadians to take on a challenge – any challenge – and raised funds to do it. Dares ranged from portaging a canoe through Toronto to writing and performing standup comedy. I chose to do 100 Sun Salutations for the cause.
This year, I wanted to dare my community in Banff to take on a dare as well. So I challenged them to hike Tunnel Mountain, a small mountain of about 790 feet, as many times as possible between November 8 and 14th. I pledged to do it 7 times, and as of today I have 4 more hikes to go. Day 1 – I went up normally. Day 2 – I took my hoola hoop. Day 3 – I ran up the mountain. What will I do next? You’ll have to stay tuned in.
I’m only at 38% with my fundraising goal as of today, so to support my Dare, please click here.
As a little sneak peek, here’s a video of me hooping on the summit.
© Meghan J. Ward, 2010.