Meet the man who wants to climb the highest peak in Antarctica – in a rhino suit
Having scaled six out of the famed Seven Summits is an epic feat all by itself, but John Black has upped the ante again: if you help him reach his fundraising goal of ZAR 250,000, he will climb Mount Vinson, the highest mountain in Antarctica, in a rhino suit this December!
This novel idea to support wildlife conservation started as a casual campfire conversation at a Boy Scout training camp in 1998, and later became the ‘Three Peaks Expedition’ – aka climbing the three highest peaks in Africa in a month, John says.
In the following 20 years, he climbed as many peaks as he could, including six of the Seven Summits – which brings us to his current attempt to complete the Seven Summits challenge. (His last summit was Denali, Alaska, back in 2011.)
For rhinos, as a rhino
Outside mountaineering – but very much in the rhino mould – John previously raised ZAR 250,000 in 2011, and again almost ZAR 100,000 with his wife in 2013. The latter was done running the London Marathon in a rhino suit.
This time, John is commemorating World Rhino Day on September 22 with a very public promise to climb Mount Vinson in the cold heart of Antarctica in December 2017, wearing a rhino suit.
Through very supportive sponsors, committed saving and personal sacrifice, John has been able to cover the costs of his travels and raise money for his causes. What drives people like him to forego personal comfort for the causes he loves?
“I feel it is our duty to preserve the fauna and flora diversity we have,” he says. “I love spending time amongst animals and in the ‘bush’, and I want to safeguard that for our own enjoyment and that of future generations.”
Rhinos in need
His help and that of others is sorely needed. In February 2017, the South African Department for Environmental Affairs released statistics showing that 1,054 rhinos were killed in South Africa alone during 2016. In just a decade, more than 7,137 African rhinos have been lost to poaching.
Like many, John is alarmed at the rate at which endangered species are being threatened, and combines an enthusiasm for conservation with a passion for mountaineering to make a difference.
But anyone can make a difference for a charity they love, he says. John’s suggestion is to have a cause that really matters to you. “Additionally, if it ties in with who you are, what you do and how you live your life, it just makes sense.”
To help put the first man in a rhino suit on Mount Vinson, donate to John’s fundraising project at https://www.givengain.com/ap/rhinoinantarctica.
GivenGain is a global online fundraising platform that enables charities to boost their fundraising potential with tools to empower their supporters to fundraise on their behalf.
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Since 2001, more than 2,200 charities have used GivenGain to raise more than $34 million from over 145,000 donors in 193 countries. The platform collaborates with the world’s leading non-profit organisations, such as WWF, Unicef, Habitat for Humanity, The Red Cross, Missing Children and MSF, and partners with major payment platforms to help you receive donations from anywhere in the world – smoothly, securely and cost-efficiently. All donations made on GivenGain are managed by the GivenGain Foundation, a non-profit organisation registered in Switzerland.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of GivenGain Foundation, on Tuesday 19 September, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/