#AdvancingChangeMoments – #GL35Challenge

What is the Miles for Smiles #GL35Challenge? 

On World Smile Day, 6 October 2017, David Grier, Andy Stuart, Jean Lierop and mascot, Charlie the dog, took up the Miles for Smiles GL35Challenge.

The target they set themselves was to run up Table Mountain 35 times in 35 days in support of the Operation Smile #35SmilesIn35Days campaign.

The #GL35Challenge not only created awareness for #35SmilesIn35Days.

David and his adventurers managed to raise R195,000 from their undertaking, which was added to the overall campaign total of approx R 350,000.

Like so many of their past challenges, they knew that saying one is going to do something is very different from actually going ahead and doing it. Luckily, they were supported on different days by various running buddies and some of the Cipla Smile Troopers.

We would like to congratulate Operation Smile South Africa on raising a total of 63 smiles over the 35-day period which means 63 children can now receive life-changing surgery.

How did it all start?

The GL35Challenge came about while David Grier was chatting to his daughter Tamlin Abrahams, who is the regional director for Operation Smile South Africa.

She told him, “Dad we are celebrating 35 years of Operation Smile and we want to raise enough funding for 35 children in 35 days.”

So, David thought, what could Miles for Smiles do to support the initiative?

It was perfect timing he says, as looking out his window he saw the pieces coming together.

“How about running up Table Mountain 35 times in 35 days?” He replied.

David decided to call long time running partner Andrew Stuart and then ‘King of commitment,’ Jean van Lierop, and before they knew it the challenge was on.

If any of them had to travel or had any other commitments, then they simply had to do extra ascents to make up the shortfall, they all agreed.

“Bring on the mountain – Bring on the Smiles.”

David, and Jean completed the challenge on 10 November, having once again achieved a huge feat in completing 35 ascents of Table Mountain in 35 days.

Andy is on the mend after a hamstring strain, but he has banked the challenge and on his return to the hill, he will complete the undertaking.

Overcoming a great challenge for a great cause is what the #GL35Challenge was all about.

Why the number 35?

2017 is the 35th year in which Operation Smile have been providing cleft lip and palate surgery to patients around the world.

To celebrate this achievement Operation Smile launched their Until We Heal campaign globally, uniting like-minded advocates with global health and world leaders to advance access to safe surgery for all people with cleft conditions.

To support this campaign Operation Smile South Africa launched their #35SmilesIn35Days campaign, a challenge to every South African to get out there and make a difference to a child’s life forever.

To watch the GL35Challenge you can visit David Grier’s on Facebook page and catch up on all the action.

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