Jiu-Jitsu Benefit Seminar

“The room was filled with a lot of very tough people. We have the most generous people in the Boston BJJ Network and everyone took time out of their day to support a great cause. That just shows how selfless everyone is, and we are lucky to have each other. We all share a common bond with training together.” – Mike Pellegrino, Massachusetts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Some of the team and I attended a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu benefit seminar for United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston and Climb for Cerebral Palsy this weekend. It was an awesome time, and a great way to spread our cause to amazing people. Hosted by Massachusetts Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, the event opened with a few words from Mike Pellegrino(co-owner), and a short introduction from me. The first half of the seminar was taught by Derek Stevens who trains out of Port City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The second half of the seminar was taught by Jimmy Quinlan, who is featured in season 17 of the Ultimate Fighter on FX.

Brian was there to photograph the event (plenty of pictures of my performance are on Facebook), while Jared and I learned some new moves. Both of the instructors were excellent and everyone there came away with new skills.

Overall, our seminar was a success raising $1,005 for United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston. Mike Pellegrino, a big supporter of ours, runs the Mass BJJ gym, which is also one of our fantastic sponsors.

“We have the same warrior spirit in life to never settle for what we’ve been given and to always strive to improve. Each of us is lucky to be able train as we want. Jiu-jitsu teaches us to never give up no matter what the situation is. If we are in an arm lock, we try and work our way out. If we are on bottom in the mount, we work our way out. Phil was born with limitations, but hasn’t let that stop him in anything he does. He has continued to work his way out of those challenging spots and now he has his eyes set on a larger goal that not many in his place have attempted with climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro unassisted.” – Mike Pellegrino

Climb for CP Indiegogo Campaign

We have started an Indiegogo Campaign! Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding site where anyone can raise money for film, music, art, charity, and more. This site also allows us to offer perks to those who contribute to our fundraising efforts.

For example, if you contribute $150, you will receive a framed, autographed summit photo of the team and a piece of our summit banner. This is a great opportunity to contribute and receive some cool stuff in return.

Check out www.indiegogo.com/climbforcp for details. Don’t forget to share this web address with your friends!

Massachusetts Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Benefit Seminar – Feb 2nd

Our friends at Massachusetts Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are holding an awesome Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Benefit Seminar for the climb on February 2nd at 11:00am.

$20.00 to attend and all proceeds go to United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston. The seminar is for all skill levels and a great opportunity for anyone interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu — learn some techniques from experienced masters.

This is a great way to support our cause and learn some sweet martial arts! If you’re interested, join the Facebook event or stop by on the 2nd.

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Austin Whipple in The Times Argus

While home for the holidays, Austin went for a quick run in the snow and encountered a photographer from Central Vermont’s Times Argus. After a feature photo in December 27th’s issue, Austin shared a bit more information about the Climb and our cause. The entire story can be read on the Times Argus website.

From the Times Argus

The team climbs to 14,000 feet.

To keep up training and see how we fair at high altitudes, the team flew to Colorado to tackle a 14,000-foot mountain. The East Coast is certainly lacking in mountains above 6,500 feet. Our goal was to not only test how our bodies react at altitude, but also to see how our endurance faired over a couple of consecutive days of hiking. We only had a day and half to acclimate hike, so the team decided to tackle Mount Bierstadt, one of the “easier” 14’ers, at the end of the trip.

The trip itself was a whirlwind; the team arrived in Denver (elevation of ~5,000 feet) on Sunday morning, then drove to the Rocky Mountain National Park’s Morraine Campsite where we decided to stay the night at an elevation of 8,800 feet. The effects were evident right off the bat, we became breatheless after the simplest tasks.

The team woke up and headed over to the Glacier Gorge trailhead. The hike was 5.6 miles roundtrip with a slight elevation gain. Mills Falls was breathtaking and a great place to rest before the journey back.

After the hike, we drove to the base of Mount Bierstadt to find a place to camp at 11,600 feet with Bierstadt looming in the distance. We woke at 5:30am to start up the mountain.

The hike was tough with altitude being a huge factor in the difficulty, but we made it to the top and back to Boston in one piece.

Official Climb Dates – Let the countdown begin

We have official climb dates! The team flies to Tanzania on February 6th, 2013. They start their trek on February 9th and end on the 15th. That’s seven days on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mark these dates on your calendar; you will be able to follow the team as they climb up the tallest mountain in Africa.

StayClassy Awards

Phil Berenz(left) – Ryan St George(right)

Last Saturday my best friend and I attended the StayClassy Awards in San Diego. StayClassy is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, celebrating the greatest charitable achievements by non-profit organizations, socially conscious businesses, and individuals worldwide. Since I was already out West, I thought this would be a great way to network and go to California for the first time. More importantly, our friends at Project Mailbox were regional winners and nominated for the Most Influential College Student or College Organization (nationwide) award. This was a great opportunity to support their organization and the award ceremony itself was an awesome experience.

This film does a good job of depicting the essence of the award ceremony. [Warning] – Be prepared to be inspired

4th Annual CLASSY Awards – Impact Video from StayClassy on Vimeo.

After the whole experience, I think our goal is to become a regional winner for next year’s ceremony! Watch out, StayClassy.


The Last Six Months

It is amazing how time flies. It seems like not long ago the three of us were hanging out at our local rock gym having the discussion to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for people with disabilities so that they can live a better life. That was six months ago, and we have come a long way. During these past six months we have established an amazing partnership with United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston and have raised a little under $5000 for their organization. $5000 dollars that is helping UCP of MetroBoston provide vital services to people with disabilities in the local community.

We have learned a lot during this time. We started off as three guys in their mid-twenties who had never started a project of this magnitude. Yet in the past six months, we have learned how to create marketing materials, cultivate relationships with corporations and individuals, spread awareness through social media and other outlets, and create a brand (Climb for Cerebral Palsy). I can confidently say that we have worked hard to lay down the foundation nessecary for this charity climb to be very successful.

“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”

-Dahli Lama

One of the biggest lessons we have learned so far is that big changes do not happen over night, and success is rarely achieved without hard work, determination, and adversity. If you want to change the world for the better, you have to fight for what you believe in and have faith in the fact that people will listen. With that being said, we have been blessed and overwhelmed at times by the generosity of our supporters. We have connected with people we would have never spoken to before, and have heard some very moving and inspirational stories. It has been a very positive and life-changing experience for all of us.

With six months to go, there is a lot to be done and a lot to look forward too. In September, we will climb 14,000-foot mountains in Colorado to train in high-altitude conditions. In early November, we will host a film screening of short adventure films to raise money for United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston. We will continue to work and train hard to build up from the foundation we have laid. In the end, this isn’t really about us climbing the mountain, it is about celebrating and helping people with disabilities. It is about supporting United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston so that they can help people with disabilities take their first steps or receive support needed to live a more independent life.

We look forward to sharing more updates in the near future.


Additional Climber: Jared Villemaire

We are happy to announce that Jared Villemaire, one of our close colleagues at Boston University, will be joining us on the trek up Kilimanjaro.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join Phil, Brian, and Austin on this journey. I’ll be so proud to join them on the peak of one of the world’s highest mountains, and to join them in raising money for people who aren’t lucky enough to be up there with us.” – Jared

Jared is a transplant to Boston, originally from Gainesville, Florida. Growing up in Florida, Jared learned to appreciate the beauty of mountains by omission (for anyone who hasn’t been/doesn’t know, Florida is very flat). After a family trip to Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, Jared’s interest in climbing was piqued. The ability to support a friend in this great cause made joining Climb for CP an imperative must.

The Color Run 5K

 A couple of weeks back, team CFCP ran the Color Run 5k. The Color Run 5k is self-titled “The Happiest 5k on the Planet”, and we can confirm it was an event with a ton of positive energy. The Color Run is a 5k inspired by the Hindu tradition of Holi, also known as the festival of colors. As you run, different color stations have volunteers throw colored corn starch at you. By the end of the race we were covered in lots of colored powder. In addition to a lot of fun, it was a good event to test our cardio and help us train for the climb. We had a great time and recommend this event to others.