Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Family,
I am excited to announce that on March 25th, I will set out on an expedition to Nepal in an attempt to climb Everest. I will be climbing to raise funds for the students at the Bishop Walker School for Boys (BWS), and I hope to build upon the success of the 2015 fundraiser for the school that I undertook in conjunction with my climb of Denali. To those of you who supported me on that expedition and fundraiser, I am forever grateful. I will also be climbing this spring in my continued pursuit of climbing the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, a challenge first created by Richard Bass in 1985 (four down, three to go!).
Everest, also known as Chomolungma in Tibet and Sagarmāthā in Nepal, stands at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) tall and was first climbed in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary. Everest represents many things to many people, but for me, it represents the ultimate adventure and a unique opportunity to give back to a deserving community. As I prepare to embark on this two month expedition and a new chapter in my life, I hope to raise $10,000 – a significant number in recognition of the school’s 10th anniversary this coming year and a meaningful sum that will provide much needed support to sustain the future of BWS and its students.
Named in honor of the first African American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the Bishop Walker School strives to alter the educational and social trajectory of children from traditionally underserved communities. Since its founding in 2008, the school and its supporters have worked tirelessly to address the unjust reality that African American boys are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be held back during elementary school, three times more likely to be suspended from school, and half as likely to graduate from college.
BWS focuses its efforts east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC where the poverty rate is 35%, twice as high as the rest of the city, and the jobless rate is higher than that in any other U.S. metropolitan area with a labor force of a comparable size. The underlying reality is that, as an independent school, with no tuition revenues or government support, philanthropy must fully support the school each year. Let us support the continued success of the BWS mission as the school begins an exciting new chapter.
This January, BWS will properly celebrate its 10th anniversary with a move into a beautiful new campus in Washington, DC's Ward 8 that will bring all of its students under the same roof. This new site represents an exciting transition that truly shows how much BWS has grown over the past decade: from one class of junior kindergarteners to a brand new, state-of the-art facility housing kindergarten through the 6th grade. I recently toured the new campus, and, after witnessing the long years of planning and fundraising, I was very excited to see the physical manifestation of the school’s future.
I started my effort with BWS in 2012 through the law firm where I am an assistant, Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, PLLC, which as a firm and on an individual basis has provided loyal and generous support to the school. I began by volunteering with the first grade, and I was deeply inspired by the tenacity and drive of both these young students and the indefatigable staff at the school. This fall, I was honored to join the school’s Auxiliary Council, and I look forward to being a positive champion for BWS for years to come. I dedicate this climb once again to the school’s students, staff, and supporters, and I hope that you will join me in bolstering the future of the Bishop Walker School by making a tax deductible donation of any amount through the orange button to your right.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
Sincerely, Oliver Ames
For more information on BWS or Everest, please visit the following links: