Meander Valley Gazette

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Scaling the heights with Rotary

Community, Events, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
John Zeckendorf, the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.  Photo supplied

John Zeckendorf, the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Photo supplied

By Hayley Manning

OPPORTUNITY USUALLY knocks once, so it’s time to get off the couch, shake out the winter chills and spend a special evening with the first Tasmanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and adventurer, John Zeckendorf will give an informative and entertaining insight into Sherpas and what it takes to climb Mt Everest, the last mountain he completed on the Seven Summits list – the highest mountains in each of the seven continents.

But John says the evening is not just about listening to him. The real emphasis is on audience engagement and asking him questions that highlight the ‘human side’ of climbing that people don’t usually hear about.

Deloraine Rotary Club’s Lois Beckwith and the team are pulling out all the stops to transform the Rotary Function Centre. Lois said there will be long tables for clubs and organisations, group bookings, plus individuals … all are welcome.

Bar facilities will be available and a Nepali craft trade table. Supper will be provided at food stations featuring an assorted variety of chef-cooked, light curries. Side options will be provided for those who like to spice things up a bit.

All proceeds from the evening will help Rotary build a Youth Training Centre in Kathmandu to educate and empower disadvantaged youth, particularly vulnerable young girls. The young children are told: ‘If you don’t get a miracle; become one.’

John is an altruistic man and has long-held the belief that people should use their gifts and talents to help others where possible. He has auctioned carabiners (climbing clips), rocks, and bits and pieces from his Mt Everest tour to raise funds for Pathways Tasmania, an organisation that helps homeless youth battle addictions.

At a Tasmanian fund-raiser in 2017, $5000 was bid for a board mounted with a Mercury article and a rock, carabiner, and undies from John’s Everest trip.

Local MP Guy Barnett, who gave John three Tasmanian flags and advised him to ‘make sure you climb this thing’, has been invited to bring a surprise item for the Dutch auction, as have several other MPs.

Everyone is encouraged to bring an item for the auction to help make what promises to be a night with a difference.

Please contact Lois Beckwith for your donations of auction items.

For more information and bookings, contact Lois on 03 6369 5393.

Tickets: $25 per person
Rotary Function Centre,
Alveston Drive, Deloraine
7pm, 27 July 2019