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Student-led fundraiser climbs above expectations

New Hampshire State Sen. Bob Guida took part in a "Pie for Prevention" auction during the "Climb Above Addiction" fundraiser last weekend. The winning bid to throw a pie in his face came from Luke Legacy, president of CADY's Youth Advisory and Advocacy Council. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
May 09, 2019
RUMNEY – Students from Plymouth State University's "Enactus" social and entrepreneurial class hosted their second annual Climb Above Addiction fundraiser at Rumney Rattlesnake Campground last Saturday, and people from all across the region helped them climb beyond their goals this year.

Last year's inaugural "Climb Above Addiction" raised $7,000 for Plymouth House, a 12-step recovery retreat for those battling addictions.

"Our goal last year was to raise $5,000 but with the $7,000 we received we were able to help two people go through treatment at Plymouth House," said senior Molly Timmins of Enactus.

Timmins said the group first came up with the idea when they were seeking a way to make a difference in the community. With New Hampshire embroiled in a troubling war on drugs, they felt that was one way they could reach out to help others.

"Everyone today has some kind of connection to the problem of addiction and with Rumney Rocks so nearby we felt this would be a way we could bring people together to have some fun while supporting an important cause," said Timmins.

The 2019 Climb Above Addiction was expanded to not only benefit Plymouth House once again, but the teen prevention programs of CADY (Communities for Alcohol- and Drug-Free Youth) as well.

Before the day even began, Enactus had already raised $7,500 through outside donations, $500 more than the goal they set for this year. And while last year approximately 250 people took part in the fundraiser, Timmins said they easily surpassed that number last weekend, too.

"It's been a big success all around and the day's only halfway over," she said.

The event was designed to resemble an old-fashioned family picnic. A $10 donation gave each person the chance to enjoy a free lunch, ice cream from the Common Man Restaurants, plenty of lawn games and live music from three local bands. In keeping with the theme of the event, there was also a rock-climbing wall that everyone could test their skills on throughout the day.

And while those activities took place in the campground below the famed climbing ledges of Rumney Rocks, a personal challenge was also occurring on the rocks themselves that day.

"We brought in two climbing professionals who are teaching 10 residents of Plymouth House how to rock climb today," Timmins said. "A huge part of recovery is to find something you love to do. We thought we'd give them the chance to learn about rock climbing to see if it's an outdoor activity they might want to become involved with in the future."

At 1:30 p.m. a "Pie for Prevention" auction took place to raise even more money for Plymouth House and CADY. Several community leaders, such as New Hampshire State Sen. Bob Guida and PSU President Donald Birx, each volunteered to take a pie in the face from the person who bid the highest.

"I'm out here doing this today because substance abuse is out of control in our state. Fighting it depends a lot on public-private partnerships like this to fill in the gaps and so far, that's been very effective," Guida said. "Besides, this is a great way to support a cause with a sense of humor. I'm taking a pie to the face but I'm also here to help put a shoulder to the wheel to fight addiction."

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