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Pepin daughters to take on Mount Kilimanjaro

From left, Christina Pepin, Lauren Pepin (Tom’s Wife), Cassie Pepin, Allie Pepin, Bella Pepin and Tom Pepin take a break during an outward bound survival training mission in Colorado.
From left, Christina Pepin, Lauren Pepin (Tom’s Wife), Cassie Pepin, Allie Pepin, Bella Pepin and Tom Pepin take a break during an outward bound survival training mission in Colorado.
Published Jun. 25, 2017

About seven years ago, Tom Pepin and his four daughters stood at 12,000 feet, overlooking the Colorado Rockies during an outward bound survival training mission.

That was the highest point the family had reached together.

Until now.

On Saturday (July 1), Pepin and his four daughters (ranging in ages from 19 to 25) will attempt to break that record by climbing 19,340 feet to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

"It started with a former state representative and his two girls who were going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and asked me if my girls wanted to go along," Pepin said. "I said probably, but I didn't really think they'd be interested. Before approaching them, I was looking at an event, a walkathon and I thought why don't we do this for the Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and get people to pledge. When I approached them with the idea as a fundraiser, it got them interested. It was a resounding yes."

During the 19 day journey, the family will be reporting live from their website so people can watch what's happening.

"Since our outward bound mission, the girls have been orchestrating their own adventure trips," Pepin said. "Two of my girls have been backpacking in South America for the past month and my daughter Cassie and I actually just got back from climbing Mount Rainbow in preparation for Mount Kilimanjaro. It was 17,400."

During the daily adventure, the Pepin's, who've done biking trips and mountaineering throughout their lives, will share their passion for health and fitness.

"Every summer we take two weeks and do something off the wall, to make memories together," Pepin said. "And I think this qualifies."

Though the seasoned climbers have conquered great heights, reaching 19,340 feet is definitely new territory.

"I just hope I don't get too dizzy, because it's the altitude that does that, not the climb," Pepin said.

The public can join in the journey by pledging funds to get them to the summit.

Proceeds will benefit Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.

For more information, visit floridahospital.com/tampa/foundation/pepins-conquer-kilimanjaro.

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