On November 11, Veterans Day, Viewpoint’s Upper School Varsity baseball team paid tribute to those who served our country by taking part in the Climb for Heroes event at Mount Baldy.
Although it marked the team's inaugural participation in the event, Brandon Warner ’24, Senior Class President and team member, has been actively supporting the cause for several years.
Warner shared, “The owner is a very close friend of my dad. We've been deeply involved in it, and I attend the Climb for Heroes every year. However, I thought this year would be a great opportunity to bring my Viewpoint teammates with me.”
"Brandon and the team took charge of all the groundwork. It wasn't just their idea; they spearheaded the fundraising efforts and meticulously planned every detail,” said Dean Kalogris, Upper School Assistant Head Baseball Coach and army veteran. “Their organization extended to coordinating even the transportation needs."
The Heroes Project, an organization that takes military heroes on therapeutic, challenging, and transformative experiences, has coordinated the Climb for Heroes event since 2013. In partnership with their alumni (team THP), they pair new participants with a mountain specifically chosen to challenge them physically and mentally.
“Most of them served in the Middle East during the recent conflict, and a lot of them have been through a lot - from fighting as this tough soldier to losing their legs. I could only imagine how debilitating that must be,” said Warner. “These people were willing to fight for our freedom so anything we can do to support them is a good cause.”
Starting at 7:00 a.m., Brandon, along with nine other players from the team, embarked on the eight mile journey up Mount Baldy. The day wrapped up at 5:00 p.m., with the team successfully raising more than $6,000 for the cause. The proceeds from the event will help build California’s first Veteran Retreat Center.
“Raising money is always rewarding, especially when it's for a good cause, but what holds the most value is the opportunity to spend time with the veterans,” said Kalogris. “They’re climbing the mountain alongside us, and to do this together and spend time getting to know each other means a lot to them.”