What if we told you a comic strip inspired a 54-year-old couple to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity? Well, that’s what happened to Beerknurds Mary Pat and Dennis James.
As background, they each have a plate at Flying Saucer locations in Nashville, Cordova and Kansas City, and they both have two plates at the Memphis location. Plus, they have 199 beers each toward their plates in Austin and San Antonio. (That’s a lot of beer drinking! Cheers to both of you!)
So, several years ago, Dennis was reading “Funky Winkerbean” in the funnies, and a character in the comic won a sweepstakes. The fictional winner was super excited until he found out it was a trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The comic strip followed his eventual ascent, and it peaked the interest of Dennis and Mary Pat.
The beer-loving couple were waiting for the right time to climb Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, but when an old family friend told them, “when you’re dead, you’re going to be dead for a long time,” they decided to take the leap.
What does Flying Saucer have to do with all of this? Well, Dennis and Mary Pat climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity: The couple has been raising money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for the past 10 years. It started with running marathons, and their efforts evolved from there. Their goal for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was to raise $19,341 for St. Jude’s, one dollar for each of the mountain’s 19,341 feet. Flying Saucer stepped up to the plate with a pledge of 1 cent per foot for each of the six locations where they have or are near having plates, putting the Flying Saucer donation at $1,160.46 for St. Jude’s. There’s no way we could turn down the opportunity to help a great cause.
Dennis and Mary Pat climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in late September and said it was the hardest thing they’ve ever done—but also the most rewarding. The Jameses took an eight-day route (six and a half days to summit), and they were above the clouds the last three days of the climb. Their summit bid lasted six hours. On the way to the top, they had a view of a full moon and a lunar eclipse. Amazing timing and incredible view (when they had the energy and balance to look up)! You can’t stay at the top for long due to the lack of oxygen, so they descended and completed their grueling journey.
To date, Dennis and Mary Pat have raised $12,500, including pledged money, and they have until mid-November to reach their goal of $19,341. If you’d like to contribute to their cause, please visit their fundraising page.
A huge THANK YOU goes out to Dennis and Mary Pat for all they do for St. Jude’s. Thanks for including Flying Saucer. Cheers!