Reaching New Heights for Children

Jon and Ricky hike

Jon Fain, Save the Children's Coordinator for Child Information Management and Rick Rowan have been best of friends since their middle school days in Monroe, CT. Now 26 and 24, respectively, they've turned their friendship into a climbing partnership as well. In early April, they will be climbing Time Wave Zero, a 2100 ft. vertical route in Mexico, to raise money for Save the Children. This is North America's longest sport climb.

When asked what drew him to rock climbing, Jon says,

"I feel present when I’m rock climbing. Things are really simple. I have to solve a problem, and once that is finished then I need to solve another. You're just trying to complete a puzzle. I get to use my body and mind to finish this puzzle and I don’t have to worry about losing pieces of it under the couch. It’s a very cool experience."

Jon feels very fortunate to be part of turning something he loves—rock climbing—into helping others. "I really love working at Save the Children. Nobody paid me to say that—I just feel that way. I'm passionate about what we do and I like that everyone around me is just as passionate. So, to be able to pursue one passion while contributing to another is really an amazing opportunity."

Of course, no one attempts a climb like this without a few reservations, and in Jon and Rick's case, it's the 5.12 pitch right at the end. Says Jon, "Yikes. That's about as difficult a way to end a 2100 ft. climb as it gets." They are expecting a long day: it will likely take them 17 hours from start to finish.

"Rick and I aren't professional climbers by any means. We are just two guys who enjoy climbing and wanted to do it for a cause. The idea of this, for us at least, is that you can be a regular person and make a run at something difficult in order to do some good. You learn something new on every climb, and so we are excited for the lessons from Time Wave that we'll come back with.".

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