Derek Haines leads soaring fundraising effort

| 23/05/2016
CNS Local Life

Caption: (L-R) Derek Haines, Barry Yetton and Vico Testori training for their upcoming Mountains & Marathons Challenge

(CNS): After completing the first of his fundraising tasks, the gruelling Cayman 50K Off the Beaten Track in February, local marathon runner Derek Haines has been training hard, together with Vico Testori and Barry Yetton, for his second mission – to undertake a three-mountain climb in Bolivia, with a combined height of more than 57,285 feet.

Haines, past president of the Rotary Club Grand Cayman, is leading the Mountains & Marathons Challenge (MM4HH) to support Have a Heart Cayman. Governor Helen Kilpatrick has agreed to be patron of the appeal and Prince Harry has sent a message of support.

For this challenge, the three men’s endurance will be tested across a series of mountain climbs and marathon runs. Fellow Rotarians Chris Bailey and Shane Delaney will be supporting his efforts by attempting separate Ironman challenges.

MM4HH is committed to supporting the non-profit Have a Heart, which provides life-saving heart surgeries to impoverished children at Health City Cayman Islands.

“We are setting our sights high on this fundraiser but the reward of saving the lives of children is huge,” Haines said. “The Cayman community has shown very generous support for my efforts in the past, none more so than for the Cayman HospiceCare appeal in 2014, and I am confident they will get behind this, too.

“We have already over $100,000 pledged and every dollar will go to saving a life. Have a Heart runs with commitment that every cent raised for the charity will go directly to saving children. No funds are diverted to administration or overheads.

“In the past two years, Have a Heart has saved 74 children from around the region, Central and South America. The seriousness of the plight for these youngsters cannot be overstated; we know of five children this year alone who were accepted by Have a Heart, but who died before they were able to get their Haitian passports.”

Training for high-altitude climbing is difficult when living at sea level but, so apart from running and cycling, the three friends have been ascending the observation tower at Camana Bay, where Haines is head of security for DART. The men carry 50lb packs and summit up to 20 times, three times a week.

Testori, owner of Ristorante Pappagallo, said, “There are 115 steps to the summit and I think we know each one personally now. But, seriously, this is a most worthwhile cause. I am very pleased to be able to support it and encourage everyone to be as generous as they can.”

For information on the challenge, go to the MM4HH website

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Category: Donations, Running

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