Climb for Kids Kilimanjaro Challenge
Kilimanjaro is the world's highest free standing mountain. It reaches almost six kilometres into the sky. In October 2010 a group of Irish climbers set out to reach the summit in an effort to raise over €250,000 for Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin in Dublin. This is the story of the Climb For Kids. The expedition was led by expert guides but the twenty eight strong group was made up of novice climbers who would have to push their bodies and minds further than they had ever done before.
Accepting the challenge among the fundraisers were some well known faces like TV presenters Kathryn Thomas, Sile Seoige and Jenny Buckley, comedians Alan Shortt and Karl Spain, singer Darren Holden and fitness guru and former Mister Ireland Paul Byrne - plus keeping the group in touch with Ryan Tubridy's radio show was 2FM DJ Ruth Scott.
In just four and a half days on Africa's highest mountain, the group was scheduled to reach the summit at five thousand eight hundred and ninty five metres above sea level - that's well over nineteen thousand feet. Without the aid of oxygen tanks climbing at this extreme high altitude claims around thirty lives each year on Kilimanjaro.
The 'Climb For Kids' Documentary
Documentary Promo Photoshoot
Peru Trek to Machu Picchu for Irish Autism Action
On 27 September 2009, Darren headed off to Peru with a celebrity team, including Boyzone's Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham, to trek the Inca Trail. The climb to Machu Picchu was being undertaken to raise funds for Irish Autism Action, a charity Darren has supported at several events.
Two videos of Darren doing impromptu performances of Summer in Dublin and American Pie, accompanying himself on guitar as his fellow climbers provided backing vocals.
Charity Skydive for the Bubblegum Club Kilkenny
Darren undertook a charity skydive on 19th June 2010 for the Bubblegum Club in Kilkenny. This was in association with Tandem SkyDive Club and raised 11,500 euros on the day. The Bubblegum Club is a charity which provides exciting days out for children who suffer from serious illness, life threatening illness or are in some way disadvantaged.
"I am still coming down from the incredible high of last weeks Skydive.
All I can say is, I can't wait to go up again, but this time do it from 20,000ft.
Its an unreal rush, the likes of which I haven't experienced before."
Darren Holden 24 June 2010
"The only way I can describe how I feel, is that this has been the most gruelling, painful, physically and mentally torturous, and fullfilling week of my life. I have shared the biggest challenge with an amazing and wonderful group of people, and I already know we are bonded for life. We laughed, cried, and clung to each other for dear life, and that was just in the niteclub last night!! lol YIKES!!!
Seriously, some amazing friendships forged, and I will never forget these folks. Ever! To Paulie, Sile, Jenny, Ruth, Sharon, Alan, Kathryn and Karl and co....... WE DID IT!!!!!!! Love you guys big time!!
I am heading home to see my beautiful wife Michelle and my 3 angels Joshy, Ava and Sophie.
My body feels like it has been hit by a train, but it was worth it for the cause. Thanks so much to you all for donating, and helping Crumlin Childrens Hospital in process."
"So nice to walk out at Dublin Airport this morning and have a few hundred people cheer us home, along with various media. It was sad to part with everyone, even if it was just a week, but I think we shared so much that it felt a lot longer. BTW....we have officially raised in excess of 250,000 Euros for Our Ladys Hospital Crumlin!!"