A Steel City action man has managed to raise a record breaking £60,000 for charity after leading a 20-strong team to the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Sheffield’s Tom Grapes, of Bannerdale Road, hit the summit of Africa’s highest mountain in Tanzania, on November 25, with the 32-year-old leading a team of 20 climbers recruited from his employer, Flight Centre.
Each year the airfare experts, Flight Centre, choose a charity to support and this year it is Alzheimer’s Research.
Tom selected the final 20 from over 80 applicants.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done” said the triathlete from Sheffield. “The thin atmosphere makes your rucksack feel like two sacks of cement. I’m so proud of the team. To get all 20 to the top is a massive achievement.”
He added: “£60,000 is the most Flight Centre has ever raised for charity. And a huge thanks to Tesco Abbeydale who supported our first fundraising event, a summer barbeque, in torrential rain, which raised our first £530”.
Tom’s father Tony, one of Tom’s biggest supporters, added: “Getting to the top of Kilimanjaro isn’t, in itself, rare news – lots of individuals and small groups do it. What’s different about this is the sheer size of the team, it’s relative inexperience, the fact that they all made it, and the sizeable sum of money they’ve raised in the process.”
Fired-up by his organisational success, Tom is now considering a career in organising outdoor group challenges. But not until after a rest.