Two local women will be climbing up Mount Everest for two great causes this Spring.

Huntsville residents Brandy Van Gelder and Kelly Hammond will be climbing 18,000 feet up to the mountain’s base camp in April in the name of charity. Van Gelder will be making the trek to raise money for SOS Children’s Villages, an international charity for children who’ve been left without parents in villages around the world. On the trip, organized by the Dream Mountains Foundation, she will visit one such village in Nepal, but money raised through the climb will be put towards a village of SOS’ choosing via its Canadian link. The pair’s trip will take 10 days heading up the mountain and six days coming down. More from Van Gelder on why she chose to make the climb…

The climb starts April 24th, which will also be the one year anniversary of Van Gelder’s diagnosis with thyroid cancer. Thankfully, the 41 year old is currently doing well in fighting the disease. Hammond, who has climbed before, will be trekking this year to raise money for the well-known charity Dreams Take Flight, which sends eligible children on a trip of a lifetime.

Before the climb, two events here at home will help raise money for the efforts. One is a silent auction/cocktail evening on March 26th at Hidden Valley at 7pm. Tickets cost $25 and Tobin Spring will provide entertainment. Tickets can be purchased at the door that night, or at Fitt Gym located at 68 West Road Unit #1 and at Core Health Naturopathic Wellness Centre in Huntsville which is located 165 Main Street West. The next event is an all-day Stair marathon being held at Robinsons Independent on April 4th. All money raised goes directly towards the charity.

You can also support the cause with donations at – look for the ‘Meet the team for 2015’ link and you can find links to Van Gelder and Hammond’s causes. You can also contact Van Gelder personally via email at [email protected] The pair will return on May 11th. Watch for details about their trip here at (Photo: L-R Kelly Hammond, Brandy Van Gelder)