Super Bowl Champion Chris Long, Former NFL Players & Military Combat Veterans Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro to Bring Clean Water to East Africa

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - LOS ANGELES, CA - Mar 14, 2017 - ​Waterboys, the cornerstone initiative of The Chris Long Foundation, completed its second-annual climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro Monday in tandem with military combat veterans and alumni of the National Football League. The summit, which is known as “Conquering Kili,” is an extension of the Waterboys Initiative created by Patriots Defensive End CHRIS LONG and NATE BOYER, a Green Beret and former Seattle Seahawk, with the goal of amplifying awareness of water scarcity and empowering former NFL players and military combat veterans to continue their commitment to service.

For the second consecutive season, Long and Boyer challenged veterans and former NFL alumni to join them on their mission to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro. Of those that accepted their challenge was Sgt. KIRSTIE ENNIS of the United States Marine Corps (retired). As a participant in this year’s climb, she became the first female above-the-knee amputee to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.

“Sergeant Ennis is a true hero and it was an honor to have her as a member of our team and watch her accomplish something historic,” Long said. “She and the rest of our combat veterans were a source of inspiration the entire journey to the top of the mountain and it is because of their courage and selflessness that thousands of people will have access to clean water. I couldn’t be more thankful for this year’s ‘Conquering Kili’ class and I look forward to seeing what we accomplish together next year.”

Chris Long, Founder

“Sergeant Ennis is a true hero and it was an honor to have her as a member of our team and watch her accomplish something historic,” Long said. “She and the rest of our combat veterans were a source of inspiration the entire journey to the top of the mountain and it is because of their courage and selflessness that thousands of people will have access to clean water. I couldn’t be more thankful for this year’s ‘Conquering Kili’ class and I look forward to seeing what we accomplish together next year.”

The entire “Conquering Kili” Class of 2016-17 includes:

·       Chris Long, “Conquering Kili” Co-Captain; NFL Defensive End (New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams)

·       Nate Boyer, “Conquering Kili” Co-Captain; Former Green Beret and NFL Long Snapper (Seattle Seahawks)

·       Chad Brown, Former NFL Linebacker (Pittsburgh, Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots)

·       Luis Castillo, Former NFL Defensive End (San Diego Chargers)

·       Major Ivan Castro, Retired, United States Army 

·       Sgt. Kirstie Ennis, Retired, United States Marine Corps

·       Nick Hardwick, Former NFL Offensive Lineman (San Diego Chargers)

·       Jim Mora, Head Coach of UCLA Football

·       Lisa Keys, Wife of the Late U.S. Army Sgt. Bradley Keys

·       Mark Pattison, Former NFL Wide Receiver (LA Raiders, LA Rams, New Orleans Saints)

·       Cory Procter, Former NFL Offensive Lineman (Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins)

·       Pete Quintanila, Retired, United States Army

**Full participant bios are below

The 2016-17 “Conquering Kili” group spent 10 days in East Africa after departing the United States on March 3. Their trip included visits to East African water projects, ceremonies with local communities, and a six-day Kilimanjaro hike. All twelve participants in this year’s climb reached the summit of Kili. In honor of the program’s supporters, the team carried a flag up the summit with the names of donors who contributed $25 or more to the cause.

The second goal of the Conquering Kili challenge is to raise funds to construct sustainable, solar powered wells in Tanzanian communities. This group set the goal to raise $150,000 to fund two water projects. Upon summiting, the team had raised $132,000 enough to fund one well and only $18,000 away from funding a second well. To continue to support the 2016-17 “Conquering Kili” group fans can visit www.waterboys.org/kili. To date, the Waterboys Initiative and its sub-program, “Conquering Kili,” has delivered clean water to over 66,000 people and funded 17 sustainable wells.  

For more information please contact Nicole Woodie at [email protected].

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About Waterboys & Conquering Kili

Waterboys began during a 2013 trip by NFL Veteran, Chris Long, to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Long was struck by the beauty of Tanzania and the vibrancy of its people; he also witnessed great suffering due to a lack of clean water. Returning home, Long began to envision a pathway to champion the need for clean water in East Africa while engaging other NFL players in the cause. In 2015, Long created the Waterboys Initiative, selecting WorldServe International as its benefiting charity. Waterboys works with WorldServe International to build wells to provide life-giving water and all that comes from it – the opportunity for education, good health, and economic stability.

To further the mission of Waterboys, Long teamed up with Green Beret/Former Seattle Seahawk Nate Boyer in November of 2015 to create “Conquering Kili,” a Waterboys sub-program. The goal of Conquering Kili is to empower former NFL players and military combat veterans to continue their commitment to service and bettering communities by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and raising funds to build sustainable water wells. Waterboys and Conquering Kili are supported by The Chris Long Foundation.

Twitter: @WaterboysOrg

Instagram: @WaterboysOrg

Facebook: www.facebook.com/waterboysorg  

About The Chris Long Foundation

The mission of The Chris Long Foundation is to support bright futures for communities and the individuals that make up those communities. We believe borders do not limit caring about our fellow neighbors. We engage in both international and domestic programs focused around clean water, military appreciation, homelessness and youth. Our programs strive to generate impactful results by creating opportunities and providing resources, financial support and meaningful experiences to those we serve.

About The Conquering Kili Class of 2016-17

Chris Long, “Conquering Kili” Co-Captain; NFL Defensive End (New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams)

Chris Long is recently capped his ninth season in the NFL, and his first as a defensive end for the New England Patriots, with a Super Bowl championship. The first and only active University of Virginia football player to have his number retired, Long’s record in the NFL is also impressive. Drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Long has accumulated 55.5 career sacks (40.5 of them during a 4-year span from 2010-2013). The former second overall draft pick is a four-time Pro Bowl alternate. Long was born in Santa Monica, Calif. into a football family. The son of Diane Long and Pro Football Hall of Famer and NFL broadcaster Howie Long, Long grew up in Charlottesville, Va. along with his two brothers: Kyle, Pro Bowl guard for the Chicago Bears and Howie Jr., Oakland Raiders player personnel executive. In 2013, he married his wife, Megan; in 2016, they welcomed their first child, Waylon.

Nate Boyer, “Conquering Kili” Co-Captain; Former Green Beret and NFL Long Snapper (Seattle Seahawks)

The former active-duty Green Beret is also a world traveler, a philanthropist and community leader, and a professional athlete as a former member of the Seattle Seahawks. During his time in the military (2006-12), Boyer was deployed on multiple tours of duty including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as JCET (Joint Command Exchange Training) Missions to Israel, Bulgaria, and Greece. Boyer’s passions for service to others and love of life-changing experiences prompted him to join Waterboys as the first “Waterboys Champion.”

Chad Brown, Former NFL Linebacker (Pittsburgh, Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots)

Chad Brown is a 15-year National Football League veteran and former Colorado Buffaloes linebacker. Brown was selected in the second round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his career he played with the Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Today, Brown is a successful entrepreneur with four businesses in the pet industry. He remains involved with the football through the NFL Players Association and as a broadcaster for on the professional and college levels. Chad and his wife, Kristin, have two children, Amani (18) and Aram (15). They make their home in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Luis Castillo, Former NFL Defensive End (San Diego Chargers)

Luis Castillo was selected No. 28 overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft. He played his entire career with the Chargers as a defensive end.  In total, he played seven seasons in the NFL after concluding his college career at Northwestern. He helped push the Chargers to four consecutive playoff births (2006-2009), which was highlighted by a run to the AFC Championship following the 2007 season. Castillo started 79 of his 82 games played and finished his career with 19.0 sacks, 152 tackles, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Major Ivan Castro, Retired, United States Army

MAJ Ivan Castro (retired) enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1988.  While serving as an enlisted man he held the positions of rifleman, team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant, drill sergeant, operations NCO, and Special Forces weapons sergeant.  In 2006, he was injured while serving as a scout platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Castro sustained life-threatening injuries and was blinded in both eyes when mortar shells landed near him killing two men in his unit.  He defied the odds by battling back from his injuries, remaining on active duty and subsequently becoming the first blind graduate of the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, Ga.

Sgt. Kirstie Ennis, Retired, United States Marine Corps

While on active duty, Ennis performed duties as a helicopter doorgunner and airframes mechanic on the helicopters. Six years into her military career, in what was her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, she was forced to medically retire after her helicopter fell from the sky, crashing to the ground, and significantly injuring her. In addition to pouring herself into higher education, and receiving advanced degrees in public administration and business administration, Ennis found a love of adaptive snowboarding. She is currently on track to compete in the 2018 Paralympics.

Nick Hardwick, Former NFL Offensive Lineman (San Diego Chargers)

Nick Hardwick is an 11-year National Football League veteran and former center for the Purdue Boilermakers. During his career in San Diego, Hardwick was considered one of the most popular Chargers in team history and widely revered as the cornerstone of one of the team’s most productive offensive lines that forged the way for Pro Bowl players such as LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers. Today, Hardwick works on the media side of the sport industry as a reporter and sportscaster. Nick lives in San Diego with his wife, Jayme, and their two boys, Hudson (4) and Ted (2).

Jim Mora, Head Coach of UCLA Football

On December 10, 2011, former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora was named UCLA’s 17th head coach in school history. Mora, a former NFC Coach of the Year, came to UCLA after spending part of 2010 and most of 2011 as an analyst and contributor for the NFL Network and the NFL on FOX. He brought 25 years of NFL coaching acumen with him to UCLA, where his Bruins most recently ranked among the nation’s top 25 programs in numerous offensive and defensive categories.  Mora began his coaching career, in 1984, at the University of Washington. He has four children and lives in Los Angeles.

Lisa Keys, Wife of the Late U.S. Army Sgt. Bradley Keys

Lisa Keys is the wife of the late U.S. Army Master Sergeant Bradley Keys, who was killed in a military training accident in 2012. Since losing her husband, Lisa has been working through her grief by working with organizations that support military families who have suffered a loss. She was first introduced to Waterboys and the Conquering Kili mission by her husband’s friend and former Special Forces teammate, NFL Waterboy Nate Boyer. She has one son, Ethan – who has cerebral palsy and limited physical and mental capacities – and she strives to make life one big adventure for him despite the challenges the world may present to him.

Mark Pattison, Former NFL Wide Receiver (LA Raiders, LA Rams, New Orleans Saints)

Mark Pattison is a five-year National Football League veteran and former Washington Huskies wide receiver. During his career, Mark played for the Los Angeles Raiders, the Los Angeles Rams, and the New Orleans Saints. For the last 10 years, Mark has worked in digital media and today is the CEO of NFL2SevenSummits.com, where he is working toward becoming the first NFL player to climb the Seven Summits. To date, Mark has climbed 4 of the 7 peaks with Denali, Vinson, and Mt. Everest left on his list.

Cory Procter, Former NFL Offensive Lineman (Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins)

Cory Procter is a six-year veteran of the National Football League and a former Montana Grizzlies offensive lineman. Cory went undrafted to the Detroit Lions, where he made the practice squad and was ultimately picked up by the Dallas Cowboys. He played the ensuing five seasons in Dallas. He retired from the Miami Dolphins after a season-ending knee injury. Now back to full health, Cory works with Kill Cliff recovery beverages as a territory manager. Cory and his wife Megan have a daughter named Grace and live in the Dallas area.

Pete Quintanila, Retired, United States Army

In 1989, Pete Quintanila enlisted in the Army and spent the next ten years at the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Wash.  Pete was seriously injured during live fire exercise in the Republic of Panama, luckily only struck by a single round from an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) burst to his left ankle. After spending a year rehabilitating, he worked as the Force Modernization Non Commission Officer. In July 2004, after years of ankle problems and high doses of pain medications, Pete elected to undergo a below-the-knee amputation. Since the time that Pete has become very active in extreme physical activities to prove not only of himself – but to other service members with amputations that they can still achieve great endeavors.  Today he also focuses on working with veterans and making a difference in their lives.

CATEGORIES : Sports News

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