TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa man and his wife just returned from a mission in South America to raise money for Tulsa's Little Light House.
Jason Burks and his wife wanted to spotlight an organization that means a lot to them so they climbed for a cause. The Burks love climbing and spent up to 10 days climbing Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in Ecuador.
“That’s usually why we go places, is to climb something,” said Jason Burks.
They decided to merge their passion for adventure with a purpose: to raise money for Little Light House.
“In the process of scanning mountains between 18,000 and 21,000, I came up with Cotopaxi first which was a great mountain to acclimate on, and then Chimborazo, which is 20,549," Jason explained.
Jason said they wanted an elevation in the 20,000-foot range to raise a dollar per foot. The elevation also meant their oxygen levels would be about half of what they are in Tulsa. “I could barely breathe; I was completely exhausted, and I wasn't sure I could go any farther.”
They eventually reached 17,000 feet before turning around. Determined to persevere, he made the second climb.
“I can’t walk away, not trying, like those kids try and she was like alright, she quickly was like alright let’s do it," said Jason.
On the second climb, his wife experienced altitude sickness so she stayed back while he continued the climb with a guide. Although they did not summit, they exceeded their goal by raising more than $23,000 which covers one-year tuition for a child at Little Light House.
“There’s something unique to me about not sumitting either mountain but raising more money than we had planned to raise.”
They both knew every step was worth it. The Burks returned from their trip on Monday and are encouraging others to push themselves by finding ways to give their gifts and time to a good cause.
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