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NFL Stars, Higher Ground Ask You to Tackle the Summit Challenge
Mark Pattison horses around in Antarctica’s Union Glacier enroute to the top of 16,050-foot Vinson Massif in January 2019. COURTESY: Mark Pattison
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Monday, November 2, 2020


Two former NFL stars and Higher Ground Sun Valley have the perfect remedy for a socially distanced challenge that will engage you during pandemic down time while benefitting others.

They want you to Find Your Summit in a fun fundraiser that will encourage you to get active and support others who want to be active.

From now through Nov. 30 former NFL Coach Jim Mora, former NFL player Mark Pattison and Higher Ground are asking you to push yourself. If you walk around the block, walk twice around the block. If you like to run, pledge to go the extra mile. If you bike, add that extra hill.

Jim Mora, former coach of Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons and UCLA Bruins, told how he tackled challenges in January 2020 at the Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum. PHOTO: Karen Bossick

Pick your favorite activity, set a goal and track it through the month. And enlist friends and family in your effort, getting them to pledge a few dollars to keep you on track while benefitting a good cause.

The idea is to push yourself to that next level in an effort to raise awareness about those who have epilepsy and other challenges that force them to have to try hard every day to recreate because of their disability.

Mark Pattison, for instance, has pledged to work out three hours a day every day for this month-long challenge, which highlights his journey to be the first NFL player to climb the seven tallest mountains in the world. Mora has pledged to do the same, plus he will donate up to $10,000 in matching pledges.

Pattison, a wide receiver for the Los Angeles Raiders, Los Angeles Ram, New Orleans Saints and Washington Huskies, decided eight years ago to become the first NFL player to climb the Seven Summits—the highest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents. He had climbed six when the COVID pandemic short-circuited the climbing season on Mount Everest—his remaining challenge.

Mark Pattison talks with singer Peter Cetera and mountain biker Rebecca Rusch, both of whom call Sun Valley home, at January’s Summit Challenge. PHOTO: Karen Bossick

But, Pattison says, climbing Everest is nothing compared with the challenge he faced when his youngest daughter Emilia was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 8. Now 22, Emilia had to leave college because of grand mal seizures.

Pattison organized an event called Emilia’s Everest: Overcoming Epilepsy last January, during which he asked Mora, Mountain Bike Champion Rebecca Rush, Chicago front man Peter Cetera and others to tell an audience how they overcame challenges. The money he raised from a raffle that night went to the National Epilepsy Foundation, which is trying to find a cure for the disease which affects one in 26 Americans.

Pattison’s latest Lhotse Challenge benefits Higher Ground, which provides therapeutic recreation to those with epilepsy, as well as other disabilities. The Lhotse Challenge aims to raise $27,940, which represents the height of Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world.

Those who raise donations of $1,000 or more will get a “Shout Out!” of their choice from Mora.

On Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. Mora, Pattison and Higher Ground participants will celebrate with a livestream panel discussion.

You can participate in the challenge by signing up at  Pick an activity to track through the month from a list that includes climbing, yoga, dog walking, horse riding, golf and fishing.

Questions? Email Info@HigherGroundUSA.ORG.


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