Customer Spotlight: Paige Rowland

Customer Spotlight
Customer Spotlight: Paige Rowland

Managing an outdoor retail shop you meet lots of people.  Every once in a while you meet someone special, someone who stands out.  Their energy, creativity and drive to make the world a better place takes you by surprise.

PAIGE ROLAND: EMS Customer, Climber and Philanthropist. Photo courtesy of Emily Varasco - Administrative Manager, In the Light Fund

This is the story of an extraordinary young woman named Paige Rowland.

Paige is an avid climber who became involved in climbing years ago when her Girl Scout troop paid a visit to PRG, the Philadelphia Rock Gym.  It wasn’t long before she was completely hooked.  Since then, her skills have improved to the point that she’s gone to nationals twice.  PRG recognized her talents and hired her on.  After she graduated high school she became the Director and Head Coach of their Kid’s Climb Program as well as the Assistant Coach of their Junior Climb Team while attending nursing school. Paige has now been nursing for over 3 years and plans on going back to school to be a Midwife.

At 15, Paige suffered a great loss when her close friend Missy Wilkocz died of cancer.

In her short life, Missy’s spirit and energy touched the lives of many, evidenced by over 500 people in attendance at her funeral.  In mourning, Paige decided that there could be no better way to honor her friend than to somehow start a fundraiser that would benefit childhood cancer patients.

Instead of just donating funds in Missy’s name to an existing organization, Paige wanted to have the peace of mind in knowing that the funds she raised would go directly toward the care she intended.  With the help of family and friends, Paige founded the ‘In The Light Fund’ (ITLF), a non-profit organization. At first, she put together concerts with local bands which raised a couple hundred dollars here and there.  She knew there had to be a better way to raise the kind of money that could provide families with the money they needed to fight childhood cancer.

Thinking about what to do for her senior project when graduating high school, it came to her.  Why not do a bouldering competition at Philly Rock Gym?  After all, it was something she loved to do and she already had the support of the people there.

Between a point system for climber sponsorship and donations to a silent auction, the first bouldering competition known as ‘Climb for the Cure’ at PRG raised over 6000 dollars!  Needless to say, the teachers at her high school were floored and her project was a complete success.

Since then, there have been more competitions and Beef & Beer events at PRG.  Over the years, the ITLF has donated more than $35,000 to families in need. Paige is committed and intent on building the fund and keeping the fire alight.  85% of all monies raised go directly to families to assist in medical bills and expenses.  10% goes to buy presents for those children and 5% to administrative expense.  Families seeking support can fill out an application on the ITLF website.

On vacation, you may Paige sending a 12B on lead at ‘The Red’ River Gorge in Kentucky, heading down to ‘The New’ River Gorge in West Virginia, up to The Gunks or out to the Flat Irons.

All of us at EMS Wilmington are proud of Paige. It’s an honor to share her story with you.

For more information:  IN THE LIGHT FUND ‘Providing Hope for Families in Need’

Phone: 610-585-9779

How many people do you know like Paige Rowland who care enough to make a difference?
Tell us about them for future spotlight features like this and CLICK HERE to meet more amazing customers.
Jaime Weiner

Jaime Weiner is the manager of the Eastern Mountain Sports in Wilmington, Delaware and has worked for us for the better part of 14 years. While growing up in Philly, he discovered his love for the outdoors on summer trips to the Catskills. Jaime is an avid hiker and river kayaker who led hikes for a few outdoor clubs and completed a thru hike of the AT in 1993. He is also a former wildness EMT, search and rescue volunteer, and cofounded the outdoor leadership program at Lock Haven university in PA. When he is not at the store he'll be working on his latest project,

1 Comment

  1. December 6, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Nice work Paige. There should be more people in the world like you.

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