Jeb VanDenburg from Hamilton and Kim Molloy from Great Falls have been selected to climb Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains on behalf of Trek for Kids, a global initiative from global healthcare company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and the charity, Save The Children.
The trek will take place in late March 2019. It is the second global Trek for Kids.
VanDenburg and Molloy are two of 40 people from GSK and Save the Children who have been selected from 39 global offices in 25 countries.
The employees will be trekking to Ras Dashen, the fifth highest mountain peak in Africa, reaching a height of 14,928 ft. The trek will last seven days. All participants have undertaken nine months of physical training in preparation.
Trek for Kids, part of GSK’s global partnership with Save the Children, aims to raise over $250,000 for the charity, most of which will support a vaccination program for mothers and children in Ethiopia.
GSK covers all costs to participate in the challenge but have asked all those selected to help raise $6,000 each through fundraising and donations. GSK will match these donations.
The closing date for applications was last July. The two Montanans were notified of their selections shortly after that.
VanDenburg is an employee at GSK’s Vaccine Hamilton site.
“I have spent 23 years working on key ingredients in the adjuvant system that makes our new generation of vaccines possible, including a vaccine against malaria," he said. "And while I will be immensely gratified if the malaria vaccine is successful, I also feel inspired to do more to help. This is the perfect opportunity”
Molloy is a GSK Vaccines employee based out of Great Falls.
“I started my professional life as a nurse and for the past 21 years I have been a GSK sales representative," Molloy said. "Trek for Kids would be an opportunity for me to not only support Save The Children, but also give back to GSK. I would take the experience gained from Trek for Kids to champion Save The Children within GSK.”
After the climb, they will visit local communities to learn more about Save the Children’s work in Ethiopia. The Trekkers will return in early April.
Donations and messages of encouragement to support the cause can be made at www.trek-for-kids.com.
Save the Children has been working in Ethiopia for decades, providing high quality healthcare and supporting families to ensure that their children have enough nutritious food to eat.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. Its vaccines business has a broad portfolio that delivers over two million vaccine doses per day to people living in more than 160 countries. For further information, visit www.gsk.com.