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MacNeill VP set to climb for BC Children's Hospital

Don Fennell   Apr-17-2018

Students at Richmond's MacNeill Secondary School are gathering in support of their vice-principal Sarah Garr. This summer, Garr will be making her first climb with Summits of Hope in Peru, in support of BC Children's Hospital.

Photo courtesy MacNeill Secondary

A Richmond school administrator hopes to reach new heights this summer in support of BC Children’s Hospital.

Sarah Garr, vice-principal at AR MacNeill secondary, will be making her first climb this summer in Peru with Summits of Hope, a local not-for-profit association.



She heard about the opportunity through a fellow administrator and friend in West Vancouver, who has previously climbed with the group.

“Ultimately it’s a way to combine two of my passions: hiking and supporting kids,” she says.

While Garr has personally been raising funds for several months to cover expenses (all climbers pay their own airfare and accommodations), MacNeill students began supporting her cause through school-based fundraising efforts this month.

With climbers paying their own way, 100 per cent of all donations go directly to BC Children’s Hospital.

”I have committed to raising $5,000,” says Garr, whose efforts so far have been mostly through word of mouth and social media. She is also planning a pub night at the Landing in Ladner on June 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. Individuals can purchase a burger and drink for $15, with $10 of that going to BC Children’s Hospital.

At MacNeill, student council is still planning additional fundraisers, considering such activities as raffling gift cards and selling donuts and bubble tea.

None of the students will accompany Garr on the trek (all of the climbers are adults), but will, along with patients at BC Children’s Hospital, be able to track her progress via live updates on the Summits of Hope website She said the climbers will also have a satellite phone with them and take turns calling in updates.

In her third year in the Richmond School District, after working in Surrey for 17 years, Garr says she is always trying to expand students’ perspectives beyond the school community “to the larger local and global community.”

“In addition to raising money for BC Children's Hospital, the Summits of Hope team will be bringing school supplies, clothing and other items to a village in Peru. This way we are able to support children both locally and globally,” she says.

Garr begins her actual journey to Peru Aug. 12, with the trek to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail taking place over four days from Aug. 16 to 19.

Garr is blogging about the project at

She has also set up a donation page at

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