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 October 3, 2012 . Vancouver, B.C. - Local hiking enthusiasts Esther and Martin Kafer have successfully reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, making them the oldest couple - 84 and 85 years old - known to have achieved this feat! The couple embarked on the trek up 19,354 ft. on Africa's tallest mountain as part of the Ascent for Alzheimer's fundraising initiative in support of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. The Vancouver couple, who are a part of the 2012 Ascent for Alzheimer's team, captured the hearts of many British Columbians as they raised more than $24,000 for the cause. This helped to bring the overall total fundraising to $310,000 ($210,000 from Ascent for Alzheimer's and $100,000 from a new companion event held locally on Grouse Mountain). The Kafers' hiking expedition is now going to be verified by Guinness World Records(R) hopefully earning them a place in the history books as well as raising awareness to the fight against Alzheimer's disease and dementia. 

"Esther and Martin's achievement epitomizes the spirit of the Ascent for Alzheimer's event, which is that no matter how challenging the journey there is support. The Kafers did this as a couple, and with their 2012 Ascent for Alzheimer's team every step of the way, reached the summit of Africa's tallest mountain and have raised awareness of the Society and our cause to whole new heights," says Jean Blake, CEO, Alzheimer Society of B.C. 

The fundraising success of this year's Ascent team was no doubt buoyed by the Kafers' incredible accomplishment, as well as, support from Grouse Mountain in the launch of a companion local fundraising event, the Mt. Kilimanjaro Grouse Grind for Alzheimer's(MKGG), which took place on Sept. 30 just as the Kafers and the Ascent team were nearing the summit on Mt. Kilimanjaro. The MKGG for Alzheimer's raised an astonishing $100,000 in its inaugural year! 

"Teams of all ages took the challenge of hiking the Grouse Grind a cumulative total of 7 times - achieving the equivalent height of Mt. Kilimanjaro on Sunday adding some incredible local support to the Ascent for Alzheimer's campaign", says Grouse Mountain General Manager, Michael Cameron. "We are thrilled that the Mt. Kilimanjaro Grouse Grind for Alzheimer's saw such an outstanding first year fundraising total and we are looking forward to even more success in 2013. Alzheimer's and dementia effects over 70,000 people in our province and Grouse Mountain is determined continue to help raise awareness in the fight against this disease". 

Recruitment for the 2013 Ascent for Alzheimer's team has opened. Get a spot on the team or learn more at

Media contacts: 
Ruby Ng 
Director, Marketing & Communications Alzheimer Society of B.C. Phone: 604-742-4919 | Cell: 604-828-9516 

Sarah Lusk 
Public Relations Manager Grouse Mountain Resort and Whistler Water Ltd. 
Phone: 604.998.4255 | Cell: 604.551.4968