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The HERA Foundation Holds Fourth Annual Climb4Life

The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation Holds Fourth Annual Climb4Life Event- DC Metro area event takes place February 27–March 28

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CARBONDALE, COLO. (January 19, 2009) The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation joins REI and Black Diamond Climbing Equipment for the fourth annual DC Metro Climb4Life, February 27 to March 28. The month-long event raises money for ovarian cancer research and awareness initiatives through community sponsorship and participant fundraising. The event will be held at Earth Treks in Rockville, Md., and Sportrock in Sterling, Va. During the month of March, participants climb for donations at participating climbing gyms, receive instruction from world-class climbing athletes and learn basic climbing skills from REI staff at the Intro to Climbing class. People of all ability are encouraged to participate. Registration is $30, and forms are available online at

Through Climb4Life, participants conduct personal fundraising for the HERA Foundation, and agree to match a certain number of vertical feet climbed for every dollar donated. Climbing gym punch-passes will be given to participants, and individuals and teams can compete to win prizes for the most money raised. “When we first began putting Climb4Life together,” says Rhonda Krafchin, outreach specialist for REI, “I never imagined it would be something so extraordinary.” Last year the event raised more than $58,000.

Registration includes punch cards valid at both climbing gyms, good for 11 days of climbing at each gym; plus a wildcard (one bonus day at each gym); goodie bags with giveaways from sponsors (available for participants who register before February 26); admission to Kick-Off event, Climbers’ Festival and Wrap party; discounts; raffle prizes and more. Participants also receive discounts on gym classes and memberships. New climbers who want to try out their skills before the event can do so on the climbing walls at REI Fairfax and REI Timonium (call for hours).

Money raised at the Climb4Life goes to support the HERA OSB1, a seed grant for research at Johns Hopkins on early detection, better treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer. According to the National Cancer
Institute (NCI), ovarian cancer occurs in one in 72 women. Currently, there is no reliable method of early detection, such as the mammogram for breast cancer. Funding scientific research is therefore vital in decreasing the number of lives lost. The NCI reports that 67 percent of cases are diagnosed after the cancer has already metastasized, when the five-year survival rate is only 30.6 percent.

Schedule of Events
February 27: 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Kick-Off, Meet & Greet at REI Fairfax
Meet pro-climbers and learn how the Climb4Life saves lives as scientists from Johns Hopkins discuss their work—plus mini-clinics, snacks and climbing demos by Black Diamond pro athletes. Goodie bags available for pre-registered climbers.

February 28: 1:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Climbers’ Festival
Sportrock Climbing Gym, Sterling, Va.
Pro climbers will offer free advice and clinics. Those new to climbing can check out Sportrock’s Basic Skills class. There will also be giveaways, raffles from top outdoor manufacturers, food, music, fun and goodie bags loaded with prizes for pre-registered climbers.

March 7: 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Intro to Climbing with REI Outdoor School
REI, Fairfax, Va.
Class size is limited, and a $10 donation to HERA is suggested. AMG-certified REI Outdoor School instructors will teach the fundamentals of rock climbing. Sign up for lottery drawing by March 4 to get into this class. Call REI Fairfax Customer Service 571-522-6568 or e-mail

March 28: 2:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Wrap Party & Awards
Earth Treks Climbing Gym
Rockville, Md.
Free clinics will be held throughout the day by pro-climbers! Search for clues hidden throughout the gym in the “Where in the World Is Stanley the Pig?” contest. Prizes will be awarded to top fundraisers and climbers, and Noodles & Co. and Clipper City Brews.

About HERA Partners in Action
The HERA Partners in Action program enables companies to “give back” a portion of sales from a product or group of products to the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation. Designated Partners in Action products include hangtags that educate consumers about ovarian cancer facts and symptoms. Partners include: Bronwen, BlueWater Ropes, Etch, Evolv, Friksn, Fox River, MadRock, Omega Pacific, Petzl, Seattle Manufacturing Company and Women’s Adventure Magazine. Awareness Partners include Mountain Gear, Sterling Rope and Stonewear. For more information, contact Stephanie Forte at Forte Creative Media, 702.898.2547.

HERA Climb4Life Seven Summit Sponsors:
Black Diamond Climbing Equipment, BlueWater Ropes, Boulder Rock Club, Climbing Magazine, Colorado Mountain School, Evolv, Exum Utah Mountain Adventures, Forte Creative Media, Fox River, Liberty Heights Fresh, MadRock Climbing, Montrail (Visionary Sponsor), Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, prAna, REI, Sea to Summit, SIGG, Stonewear Designs, The North Face, Timbuk2 Designs, Urban Climber and Women’s Adventure Magazine.

About the HERA Foundation
The HERA Foundation is a registered 501 (c) 3, whose mission is to stop the loss of mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, partners and girlfriends from ovarian cancer by empowering women to take control of their health, empowering the medical community to find new directions in ovarian cancer research and empowering communities to provide support. For more information, visit