NAPLES, Fla - Two Naples men are back home after the climb of a lifetime. Glen Schwesinger and Gordon Kellam set out to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but the journey was about more than getting to the top.
Last year, the two friends set out to find a unique way to raise money and awareness for the Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples. So, they decided to climb the tallest free standing mountain in the world.
"The funds that we raised for the shelter was secondary to the awareness of the abuse and for the shelter itself," says Schwesinger. "That is what I was doing it for."
After seven days, 20,000 feet, and five different climates Glen and Gordon reached the top. "You're reaching for air, every breath is difficult," says Kellam. "Taking a sip of water is enough to make you want to sit down, so by the time you get to the top it's absolute elation."
For the two men, getting to the top was never a question. Every step of the way, the two were reminded of who they were climbing for. "Domestic violence is a difficult thing to get through," says Kellam. "But, those that do it's like climbing their own mountains, so for us we were reminded of that for every step that we took on our way up."
The men snapped hundreds of pictures along the way, memories that will last forever and an experience they'll never forget. "It was absolutely everything I thought it would be," says Schwesinger. "It was the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life."
Glen and Gordon came just short of their goal of raising $50,000 for the Shelter, but there is a final "Post-Climb" fundraising event next month where they hope to reach their goal.