Chet Greason, Gazette staff
What would you do to help some of the needy children in the world? Would you donate pledge money to a friend who’s participating in a fundraiser? Would you offer your talents to a worthy cause, free of charge? Would you buy a ticket to an event that’s raising money to help?
How about climbing a mountain in Africa?
All of these methods of helping are being utilized as part of an event scheduled for Saturday, April 6.
A Benefit for Save the Children, a night of music and entertainment, will be held at the Masonic Concert Hall featuring acts like Steve “Yeager” Adair, Jim Hagarty, Stevie Toman, Big Jon and the Honkin Swans, and Danny and Linda of Loose Change.
The concert is being organized by Jetta Heinen, who two years ago completed a trek to Machu Picchu as part of a fundraiser that benefited needy children in Latin America. Heinen paid for the trip herself, but then raised an additional $4,000 through sponsorships that went towards Save the Children.
“I loved it so much last time ... I was waiting for them to announce this year’s (expedition),” she says.
The Stratford-based adventurer, who owns and operates Happy Tails Pet Service, adds that discovering the hidden Incan city was “stunning ... and so interesting.”
This year, Heinen is participating in Remedy Rx’s Morocco Challenge 2013, a trek that will see her, along with fellow adventurers, climb the High Atlas mountain range – North Africa’s tallest. A five-day hike through the mountains will end with a daylong camel trek through the Sahara Desert.
This year, Heinen has set her goal at $6,000, and hopes April 6’s fundraiser will provide the bulk of those funds. All proceeds from the adventure will benefit children in Africa’s Burkina Faso.
“I love travelling, and I feel the need to create some balance in the world,” explains Heinen. “This program allows me to do both.”
The musical fundraiser will be set up cabaret-style, and will feature special entertainers between the musical acts, including a bellydancer and a hula-hoopist. Tickets cost $25 and will include door prizes and snacks.
Save the Children is a charity that helps children in over 30 different countries around the world, including Canada.
“We have so much, so it’s really important that we create some balance,” says Heinen.
Asked if she’s physically and mentally prepared for the arduous trek, which will see her sleeping in Berber tents, Heinen says the physicality is one of the reasons she enjoys trekking so much.
“You need to be healthy to complete these treks,” she says, adding that, during the Machu Picchu hike, two participants had to bow out due to altitude sickness.
“It can be a pretty intense adventure for some. I’m proud of the fact I still do this kind of stuff.”