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Staff Sgt. William Brock is taking his fundraising abilities to new heights. The airman, from Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, was set to climb North America's third-tallest peak, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico, in late December to raise funds and awareness for the Air Force Enlisted Village, a nonprofit organization outside Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., that provides a home for surviving spouses of retired military heroes and mothers of current active-duty and retired military members.
Brock, an instructor at the 315th Training Squadron, learned of the Air Force Enlisted Village while stationed at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
"I formed a relationship with the village about the time I added mountain climbing to my list of adventures," Brock said in a news release.
"In 2011, I planned to climb Mount Rainier [in Washington state] and decided to dedicate the climb to the widows living there. A little over $700 was raised."
Since then, Brock has returned to Rainier to climb it again, but had to turn back just shy of the summit due to weather conditions.
Brock said he has always been drawn to helping others and enjoys doing so when he can do something he loves, like climbing, in the process.
"The real takeaway is the resources we have all around us to affect change," Brock said.
"All I do is help get the word out and climb."
He has set a goal of raising $1,849 for the Enlisted Village with his climb of Pico de Orizaba, scheduled for Dec. 28 and 29, and will wave an Air Force Enlisted Village flag at the top of the mountain — 18,490 feet up. Brock offered to do the same for the top contributor to his fundraiser.
"Hopefully I'll get a chance to fly down to Florida next year and present the flags and visit the AFEV again," Brock said. "It really is a nice place filled with amazing people."
"Staff Sgt. Brock's fundraising efforts will help with the ongoing maintenance of our facilities," said Scarlett Bauman, the marketing director for the Air Force Enlisted Village. "Whether it's replacing kitchen cabinets in a resident's apartment or remodeling the library for easier access for walkers, every little bit helps."
Donations will remain open until Jan. 31 for anyone wishing to help Brock and the Air Force Enlisted Village reach their fundraising goal at his secure online fundraising page at www.afev.us/brock.
"I'm confident he will meet his goal and surpass it," Bauman said.
"All of us here at the Air Force Enlisted Village are proud of him and very appreciative of his achievement."