While everyone else is making last-minute shopping trips and navigating through overcrowded airports, Coldwell Banker Premier CEO Steve DuBrueler is preparing to deliver holiday cheer by embarking on a three-week climb of Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
DuBrueler and his team of three climbers, who climb under the name ‘Climbs for Kids,’ will begin their journey up the 22,837-foot Mount Aconcagua on Dec. 27 with a tentative completion date of Jan. 17.
The team has already raised $1,600 of their $10,000 goal, with 100 percent of funds going toward research and family care funds. According to St. Jude’s website, donations cover the cost of nursing tools, such as thermometers, funds family meal plans, and covers a portion of the cost of diagnostic testing and physical therapy.
“Mountaineering has many parallels to life: trust, struggles, fear, desire, accomplishment, and fortitude; all of which the St. Jude kids and their families live through every day,” DuBrueler said while explaining why his team chose St. Jude’s for this year’s climb. “This is an excellent opportunity to pay it forward and lend a hand to a worthy cause.”
In an interview with Inman, DuBrueler said his team has been preparing for the climb since May, which includes a rigorous schedule of endurance training that includes biking, running, swimming and weightlifting.
“The larger mountain, the longer the training,” he said while likening his exercising routine to that of an Ironman athlete.
Beyond physical preparation, DuBrueler said he and his teammates must prepare financially — the CEO said the total cost of climbing Aconcagua is $40,000. That includes airline tickets, permits and any tools and provisions the team will need for their three-week stay in Argentina.
“All of the climbs are all paid for by the climbers so 100 percent of the money raised goes to the charity,” he said.
Over the past decade, DuBrueler and the Climbs for Kids team has completed and self-funded a number of climbs to Mounts Aconcagua, Rainer, Hood, Baker and Everest, and raised more than $500,000 dollars for charities including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Easterseals, and the Hudson Family Foundation.
Despite the grueling process filled with blizzards, high winds, dangerous terrains, and the risk of developing life-threatening medical conditions, DuBrueler said he plans to continue climbing and raising money for children as long as he can.
“It’s all about paying it forward,” he told Inman. “If you’ve been fortunate, then you need to make sure you share. And from a real estate perspective, let’s face it, it’s good for your business and ties you to your community.”
“Nobody gets up in the morning and just decides they want to go to work — they all want the benefits of work, whether its to do something for themselves or for charity,” DuBrueler added. “They need to make sure they make giving a part of their entire life.”
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