Posted by: Shanie Matthews | January 8, 2010

Kili2010 Participant Andy Shirey Brings the Joy of Clean Water to those in Africa

photos courtesy of Andy Shirey

A vital part to enjoying life is having basic necessities like clean water.

For many, the sad truth is, this is not a reality.

Luckily for some, things are about to change…enter Kili2010. A fundraiser dedicated to bringing awareness to sustainable clean water solutions for those living in Africa, this group effort is literally inspiring happiness.

Involving people from around the globe, internet entrepreneurs, executives and other interested participants are making a commitment to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro March 1 – 6, 2010. One of those participating in the journey-for-good is an old friend of mine from high school, Andy Shirey. An athletic guy then and now, this product manager with OpenMarket (a real-time mobile transaction hub) is doing his part in helping other’s happiness.

I was interested to learn more about Kili2010 and Andy’s take on the awareness campaign. He was kind enough to answer my questions. Here’s what he had to say…

SM: How did you initially hear about Kili2010?

AS: I climbed Mt Rainier this past summer and one of my climbing partners is friends with one of the guys that is helping to organize the Kili2010 climb.

He told us about the program when it was still in the planning stage. We liked the idea and signed on.

SM: What is the mission of Kili2010 for those that haven’t heard of it?

AS: The mission of Kili2010 is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and in the process raise awareness and funds for The Water School. TWS is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide simple, safe, strategic and sustainable clean water solutions to the developing world. Through their programs, TWS provides clean drinkable water using extremely inexpensive and locally available materials.

SM: What made you decide to participate?

AS: I have always wanted to visit Africa and climbing Kilimanjaro sounds like an awesome adventure. When I learned of the impact I could help make by reaching out for sponsorship it was an easy decision.

SM: What does the climb entail?

AS: Our group will be taking the Machame route which is a 6 day climb. There will be some difficult days but no technical climbing. The biggest challenge will be dealing with the 19,400 foot elevation.

SM: What training plan are you undertaking to get ready?

AS: Thankfully the training coincides with my winter cycling training. And of course skiing! I have added a six mile round-trip walk to and from work with my pack on to help get my hiking legs back.

SM: Do you have any reserves or fears about climbing a big mountain like Kilimanjaro?

AS: No, no fears or reserves. I know it will be a great trip for a great cause regardless of how I do on the mountain. Obvously my goal will be to summit and I’ll give that my best effort.

SM: How can we become more involved?

AS: Folks can learn more about The Water School at their website and if they are interested in offering a sponsorship please visit this link. Thanks!

Wishing Andy and all of the other climbers a safe journey. Thanks for spreading the happiness. -EH



  1. […] to is The Water School. I originally came across this organization via a friend that is doing a benefit climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in March to help bring clean water to people in Africa. Created in 2007 by Bob […]

  2. […] to is The Water School. I originally came across this organization via a friend that is doing a benefit climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in March to help bring clean water to people in Africa. Created in 2007 by Bob […]

  3. […] Andy Shirey celebrating a successful summit on Mount Kilimanjaro, clean water and a bright future with children positively affected by The Water School. […]

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