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Bill Sparer

Projected Summit Date : June 9th, 2013

Route : Machame 7 Day

Home Town : Libertyville, IL

Climbing For : Mailisita Foundation

Our family has been members of St. Joseph’s in Libertyville for over 26 years.  One of our priests, Fr. Val, grew up in a village near Kilimanjaro.  His brother, Fr. Augustine, was pastor of a parish in Mailisita, Tanzania.  Several years ago, Fr. Val encouraged our parish to build and fund an

English speaking school near  Fr.  Augustine’s  parish. The  project includes a guest house whose profits will support the school.  The project was started in 2006 and was pretty much completed last year (although several more classrooms will be added). Groups of parishioners have gone every year since then. The school teaches students in English. This is important because English is required to go to public secondary school.   Click on the Mailisita Foundation link below for more information, pictures and a short video about the project and the children.

When Mary Ann and I were discussing where to vacation this summer, we both said: “Let’s go back to Africa.”  We went in the summer of 2010 and had a wonderful time.  We went on safari, shopped at the markets in Moshi, worked on the Stella Maris guest house.  But the highlight of the trip was playing games with the students at Stella Maris School and at the parish preschool, reading books with them, doing craft projects, walking with them from school to the parish and to their village, and just hanging out with them.  Their smiles and enthusiasm were wonderful. (Sunday Mass at Fr. Val’s childhood church near Kilimanjaro and at the Mailisita parish were pretty special too.)

When we were in Mailisita, Mt. Kilimanjaro kept poking out of the clouds.  I told Mary Ann that I’d like to climb it someday.  When I heard Dan was organizing a climb this year, which would be a fund raiser for Stella Maris, I joined the group. Whether I make it to Uhuru Peak isn’t important.  What is important is that you learn about a little town called Mailisita in Tanzania and a school there called Stella Maris.  There are real people there, working their farms, worried about their children and their jobs, just like us.

We sponsor three students ($300 each).  Their families are required to contribute.  Since each year the school adds another 40 students, we need more sponsors.  If you sponsor a student (which would be wonderful), you will get his or her picture and maybe some news updates. (Our students’ pictures are on our fridge.) If you can’t sponsor a student, of course any amounts are welcome.  All of your donations (which are tax deductible) will go directly to the school-not overhead.  (And none of it goes to the cost of my trip.) Skip a couple of meals out and donate the money instead. Have your credit card ready and click on the “Make a Contribution” button below.  If you don’t like to donate via the web, mail your check payable to Mailisita Foundation, c/o Stan Taylor, 31475 North Reigate Terrace, Green Oaks, IL 60048.  If you can’t give money, think about the children and say a prayer for them.

All of you have benefited from a good education.  Let’s provide that opportunity to several hundred children in Mailisita Tanzania.  “Give me a fish, I eat for a day.  Teach me how to fish, I eat for a lifetime.”   Asante sana (Thank you)

PS-If you want to visit the Kilimanjaro area, consider staying at the Stella Maris Executive Lodge.  The profits from it support the school and provide employment for people in Mailisita.  It is near Kilimanjaro airport, between Arusha and Moshi, which are departing points for Kilimanjaro climbs, safaris to Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park.

Help Bill reach his  goal of raising $5,000 for the Mailista Foundation​.

100% of funds raised go directly to the Mailista Foundation.  All travel and climb expenses have been paid for by Bill.

Trek : Mt. Kilimanjaro
Route : Machame
Climb Duration : 7 Days
Climb Length : 37 Miles
Max Altitude : 19,341 Ft.
Coldest Temp : - 8 F