Creating disability awareness, showing unique abilities, raising funds

Adventure with a Purpose

More About Us

Who We Are

Trek4TEF was founded by Kevin Padgett in 2011 as a means of introducing people with disabilities of all types to the outdoors, to create awareness about disability, and to support The Elisha Foundation (TEF) and their global work among the disabled.

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MISSION

The mission of The Elisha Foundation (TEF) is to transform the lives of people impacted by disability through providing needed spiritual and physical resources.

WHY WE DO THE TREKS

We trek to create awareness of the often severe needs of those impacted by disability and show the unique abilities of our disabled team members as they climb these mountain trails, just as they navigate the sometimes treacherous paths of their own disability. Trek4TEF also serves to make the work of The Elisha Foundation (TEF) known and supported. Each year Trek4TEF holds an annual fundraising event to raise funds for the critical work of TEF.

VISION

Our vision is to utilize our Respite, Retreat, and Reach programs to fulfill our Mission through empowering people, to engage the disabled in their communities, and to provide needed resources to those experiencing disability.

Eli Makes History

About Everest Trek  Story Covered By  Gallery

 

Our first Trek4TEF fundraising adventure took place in March of 2013 and was a resounding success. Eli Reimer became the first American with Down Syndrome to reach Mt. Everest Base Camp, the second person with Down Syndrome ever, and the youngest to do so!

Eli’s adventure with a purpose inspired millions of people (broadcast by every major news source around the world), gave hope to the disabled community and brought tons of life changing funds and resources for TEF to use in reaching the disabled. Eli also inspired the outdoor community to continue doing likeminded events to get those with disabilities outdoors.

Eli and his Team’s accomplishment impacted the WORLD.

  •  Disability is not a limitation,
    and Eli is proving that.

    CNN/HLN
  •  Amazing and inspiring story of a very special teenager . . . conquering more than a mountain.

    The Today Show
  •  Conquering Everest is not for the easily rattled . . . Reimer triumphed.

    NY Daily News
  • The climb was about more than breaking records . . . the mission . . . is to help families who have children with special needs by providing refreshment and encouragement.

    Huffington Post

STORY FEATURED ON

Images

IMAGES OF THE EVEREST TREK

Kilimanjaro

About Kili Trek  Support a Trekker  Track the Team

 

Eli is at it again! With the encouragement of friends and family, Eli Reimer will set out to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa the highest mountain in that continent. Eli will be joined by 17 other adventurers, each with their own story to tell and each with a unique connection to disability. One of these Team members is Nate Davis. Nate is 22 years old, has special needs, and is a joy to those who are blessed to know him. Nate is excited to take on this adventure with Eli!

Nate and Eli will lead this Trek as much through their lives as through their footsteps on the trail. Their value and worth being displayed on the trail, will produce hope and inspiration.

Our Team has set out to raise $150,000 for The Elisha Foundation to fund their projects around the world. TEF operates on a chore value of radical generosity and does not charge those they serve for their services. TEF relies on the generosity and support of so many who are passionate about the work and impact of TEF.

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kili-trek

Our Team

If you would like to partner with one of our Team members through financially support you can click on the “Support” link in their profile. This will allow you to give via PayPal. NOTE: You can pay with a credit card, and you do NOT need a PayPal account to make donations via PayPal.

 

Eli Reimer

Eli Reimer

Elisha Reimer, or Eli, as his friends call him, is the son of TEF Executive Director, Justin Reimer, and the Director of Inspiration for Trek for TEF. Eli is currently a freshman at Bend High School in Bend, Oregon. Ever since his birth, his life has impacted many. Eli has Down Syndrome. From his infectious smile to his joy-giving hugs, he makes friends for life; he never forgets a name or a face. He collects Bibles, enjoys sports, and particularly loves football. Above all, Eli loves Jesus, and he will happily give you a narrative of the stories of the Bible. He is most looking forward to seeing and hiking Mt. Everest with his Dad, and has begun to train by running on a treadmill. The trip will take place right before Eli celebrates his seventeenth birthday.

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Team Carolina

Team Carolina

NATE DAVIS was recommended to this trek by his friends at Waypoint Adventure in Newton, MA and is so happy to be part! Nate lives in Charlotte, NC with his parents and 2 Boxers, Buckley and Lottie, works at Chick-Fil-A (making the best lemonade ever) and volunteers at Star Dog (dog training/day care/boarding) and Project2Heal (Labradors raised as service dogs for veterans and people with disabilities). Nate had a cerebral hemmorage at birth but has never let his disability define him or hold him back. He has three sisters, brothers-in-law, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends who are cheering him on in this climb and every endeavor. He is training with Tony Monaco, as TEAM CHARLOTTE and holds 1 Corinthians 15:10 as his life verse: “By the grace of God I am what I am and his grace that was given to me is not in vain.”

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Justin Reimer

Justin Reimer

Justin Reimer is the Executive Director of TEF. The intersection of two of his greatest passions, making known the needs of the disabled, as well as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what makes this trip so inspiring for Justin. By participating, he hopes to see more people understand and engage in meeting the needs of the disabled. Being in the outdoors reminds Justin of God’s artistry and beauty. “It reveals just how small I am, yet how significant I am in light of the work of Jesus in my life, creating more worth in me than in all the universe.” Justin wouldn’t think of going on this trip without his Bible, and the thing he will miss most is holding his amazing wife and his other four kids.
Support Justin

Support Justin
Noelle Reimer

Noelle Reimer

Noelle Reimer is Eli’s oldest, little sister whom he lovingly adores. She is nearly 15 years old. Noelle loves studying foreign languages and photography. She has traveled the world a fair bit at her young age and has served on multiple TEF Reach projects in Ukraine and Slovenia. Noelle is compassionate towards the needs of people impacted by disability. Noelle has an adventurous spirit and is excited to travel to Africa and tackle the challenges that Mt. Kilimanjaro has to offer.

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Rebecca Freres

Rebecca Freres

Rebecca Freres, is a recent graduate of The Master’s College. She is passionate about serving those impacted by disabilities and has served in Ukraine and Slovenia working with disabled children and adults. She has the distinction of being TEF’s first official Intern. Rebecca musically and athletically gifted. She possesses a great sense of humor that will be most helpful as our Team heads up into the higher elevations.

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Benjamin Edwards

Benjamin Edwards

Benjamin Edwards, is madly in love with his wife Lauren and together they are the proud parents of three boys. Benjamin has supported TEF through his renowned photographic skills over the years, covering both local and international projects for TEF. He is also a close friend of Eli. Benjamin is a deeply compassionate man who loves Jesus and seeks to love and administer grace and mercy to those in deepest need. Benjamin will be piloting our aerial camera platform on this adventure.

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Lauren Edwards

Lauren Edwards

Lauren is the wife of Benjamin Edwards, (quite possibly the best husband ever), and Mama to three adventure and battle seeking Edwards boys. Loving her men is her greatest mission. When shes not elbow deep in diapers, legos, and multiplication she dreams of what she may someday do outside the shelter of home. Mount Kilimanjaro brings the outside in and transforms someday into now. The climb enthralls her. Having been successfully medicated for a seizure disorder since the age of thirteen she often ponders the cast her life would’ve had had she been born elsewhere, and her seizures pummeled her unchecked. She deeply desires to impact the lives of those disadvantaged who through simple place of birth cannot thrive amidst disability. Standing alongside the Elisha Foundation and its vision of opportunity, is a God sent chance to cease the dreaming, and to do.

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Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards, works as the director of financial age for The Master’s College. He is an exceptional cook and fine food connoisseur. Gary has a ton of energy and throws himself fully in to whatever interests him, including a deep love and compassion for children with disabilities. He is excited to sprint up the mountain.

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Brandon Simonds

Brandon Simonds

Brandon Simonds is a veteran game and application designer who freelances from his home base in Bend, Oregon. When he’s not busy crafting meaningful user experiences, he’s likely to be out in the backcountry climbing glaciated peaks or carving powder on his split-board. Brandon also helps run Cascades Mountaineers, a local non-profit outdoor organization. He is eternally grateful for his family, who tirelessly support his passion for volunteering, missions, and wanderlust.

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Jonathan Schaumloeffel

Jonathan Schaumloeffel

Jonathan Schaumloeffel is finishing up his freshman year at BIOLA University. Jon and Eli have been best buddies for over 6 years. Jon is fit and active. When he is back in Bend chances are that you will find him and Eli at Red Robin enjoying burgers and fries together with Eli the very picture of joy. Jon is excited to trek with Eli on the amazing adventure!

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Tony

Tony

Tony is the Director of Operations for the North American office of Himalayan Glacier Trekking (HGT) He grew up in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and discovered his passion for the mountains at a young age. He has always been very involved in charities – having completed over 10 marathons and triathlons to raise money for organizations such as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training and The American Liver Foundation’s Run for Research programs.

HGT was proud to work with and host the Trek 4 TEF team as they prepared for and accomplished their physical, spiritual and charitable goals during their expedition to Everest Base Camp in Nepal last March. Tony was so inspired by Eli and the entire Everest team that he wanted to do more than just work behind the scenes. Tony is proud and excited to be a part of Trek 4 TEF Mt Kilimanjaro as the team prepares for their journey to the highest point on the Africa’s highest peak this July.

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Jason Wood

Jason Wood

Jason Wood works and lives in Prineville, Oregon and has a love for the outdoors and sharing it with his family. He has a loving wife and three kids that are supporting him every step of the way. It all started with his friend, Benjamin Edwards’ asking “Have you ever thought about climbing a mountain.” With lots of thought and prayers, here I am! Jason wants to not only climb a mountain for the Elisha Foundation, but bring awareness to the disease Myotonic Dystrophy that plagues his brother, aunt, four cousins, and took the life of his mother and a cousin at any early age. Jason is looking forward to the trek with Eli and the team on this new and epic journey that GOD has in store for him.

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David Dirksen

David Dirksen

David Dirksen is a sophomore in high school. He has traveled the world extensively with his family helping to play music with Songs for Saplings. He loves animals, particularly small woodland creatures. David can often be found wandering the forests around his home in search of the next creature he can befriend and talk with. He is excited to trek with the Team and looks forward to all the small rainforest creatures he might meet…not really, he is excited to support a great cause and be a part of this adventure!

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James Dirksen

James Dirksen

James Dirksen is the enamored husband of Dana, the blessed father of 2 beautiful girls and 4 wild sons. James takes joy in being actively involved in their church and is serving others. One of his greatest joys is supporting Dana’s amazing musical outreach to children with Songs for Saplings. James also serves on the Board of The Elisha Foundation. He looks forward to trekking with his buddy Eli and will also be joined by his son David.

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Jacob

Jacob

Jacob is a born and raised Bendite with an appetite for adventure. He enjoys being able to use his skills and abilities to play any role in the expansion of God’s kingdom and is excited for the opportunity to partner with the Elisha Foundation this summer. Known by many in his hometown as the “Big Patriot” be sure to keep an eye out for a large man wearing American flag shorts when you are browsing Google Earth over Kilimanjaro this July!

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Bruce Meissner

Bruce Meissner

Bruce Meissner hails from Cape Town, South Africa. He has a huge love of the outdoors and enjoys surfing, downhill mountain biking, and hiking. He has an amazing wife Rebecca who is his rock and they shoot weddings together. He is passionate about seeing people come to know Christ, traveling, and building things, like furniture and surfboards. Bruce will be photographing the Kilimanjaro trek and is most looking forward to the actual challenge of photographing while having no breath due to the altitude!

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Track The Team

Please “bookmark” this page and check back each evening as our Team will be communicating their progress on the Trail via Instagram as they have connectivity. You will also be able to track them via the GPS tracker below. Enjoy!

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Get Involved

Create awareness and have fun by planning your own local Trek with disabled people in your community. We will be hosting a couple of day hikes for people with disabilities in Bend, Oregon the summer of 2014. We would love to help you do the same in your town!

Create Your Own Trek

Upcoming Trek

Tumalo Mountain Day Hike

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Create Your Own Trek

Get Involved

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2015 Trek

Global Trek4TEF event to ??

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We'd love your support!