Climb of life breaks fundraising record

More than £81,000 raised for cancer research.

The 2013 Climb of Life (COL) set another record this year, raising more than £81,000 ($110,000) for the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).

11 teams comprising 120 members of the UK office products industry – including Janet Bell, India Pride, Chris Turness and Fergus Cox from OPI – braved the wintry November conditions in the north of England to scale some of the tallest peaks in the Lake District.

COL organiser Graeme Chapman said: “We pipped last year’s amount by £1,000 and, when I announced the total, the noise from the trekkers almost took the roof off.”

COL has raised £480,000 for the ICR over the past seven years, while the total amount raised through Chapman’s efforts for a variety of charities over the past 26 years is a staggering £1.1 million.

“When I started this event 26 years ago, I had no idea of the impact it would have on the OP industry. To reach over £81,000 and beat the previous amazing year left me almost speechless,” added Chapman. “What impresses me, apart from the huge contribution to cancer research, is the dedication, year after year, from so many friends and industry stalwarts to our Climb of Life.”

The top corporate fundraiser this year was Vasanta, which brought its entire board for the second time to support the event and raised £21,000. OPI raised more than £15,000 and we would sincerely like to thank our generous sponsors for their support.

“Thanks to the phenomenal support from so many individuals and groups like OPI and Vasanta, the COL event goes from strength to strength,” stated Chapman.

“I would like to give a special mention to OPI, which really raised the bar with its impressive fundraising that started four years ago and has helped the COL team to go on and beat £80,000 for the past two years,” he added.

Nowhere is the COL team spirit more evident than at the now-traditional post-COL celebration at the Swan Hotel in Grasmere, the location of the COL ‘base camp’ for the past 21 years. Joining the trekkers this year were Professor Paul Workman, Deputy CEO of the ICR, and Britain’s ‘Greatest Ever Mountaineer’ Alan Hinkes – the only Briton to have scaled the 14 highest mountain peaks in the world.

“It was inspiring to spend time with you and your amazing group of fundraisers, including cancer survivors, patients, family and friends,” said Professor Workman. “It is truly fantastic to have the Climb of Life team raising funds for this vital research.”

The ICR continues to be one of the most important scientific research centres for cancer in the world, bringing more drugs to market in recent times than any other. On a more poignant note, three people connected with COL have been diagnosed with cancer in recent months and it is just over a year since we at OPI lost our own Adam Morris, aged just 32, to the disease. It’s something that touches all of us to varying degrees, and we are just proud to be able to play a small part in the wonderful efforts of COL in the UK and City of Hope in the US.

The next Climb of Life will take place on 7 November 2014.