MIAMI — Always looking for a new challenge, RE/MAX Advance Realty (RMA) broker/owner Anthony Askowitz was asking his family for suggestions one day. On a whim, his brother-in-law’s girlfriend mentioned climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. “Within minutes, I went online and booked the adventure,” Askowitz recalled.
The grueling six-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro took him across the globe and almost 20,000 feet above sea level. The successful ascent not only marked a personal goal for Askowitz but a charitable one as well. The local real estate leader invited friends and family to support a fundraising effort on behalf of Miami Children’s Health Foundation (which benefits Nicklaus Children’s Hospital) that has raised nearly $2,000 to date.
“I have been blessed with good health and opportunity, making this climb through challenging terrain and wavering temperatures possible,” said Askowitz. “Many children in our community are not so fortunate, and their courage inspired me to not only raise these funds but to keep climbing even when things got difficult on the journey.”
Supporting the community
RMA is a longtime supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, whose local beneficiary is Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
“Anthony has been a longtime friend and supporter of the CMN Hospitals Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital,” said Maria Moldes, senior director of programs and community relations for Miami Children’s Health Foundation. “Anthony’s passion for helping children in our community goes beyond leading the largest RE/MAX office in our community. Anthony always keeps CMN Hospitals top of mind with his creative fundraising efforts, including his annual online auction, his cufflinks sales, his yearly involvement with our MCHF5K walk, and his latest adventure, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! Anthony, thank you for making miracles happen for over 20 years!”
Preparing for such a climb was as big a challenge as the climb itself. Askowitz climbed Machu Picchu in Peru and did the Lost City trek in Colombia before tackling Mount Kilimanjaro.
“To say climbed would be a bit of a stretch in each case; these are more like very strenuous hikes!” he said. “To do this, I had to take a hard look at my level of physical fitness. Although I play quite a bit of tennis and am in relatively good shape, I also turned 50 this year and realized I needed to add some muscle and lose a few pounds.”
So, he hit the gym, adjusted his diet, and made sure he got plenty of sleep.
“After a typical day on the journey, which usually consisted of a nine-hour trek carrying a 15-pound backpack, I was very grateful for the additional training I had put my body through,” said Askowitz.
Askowitz is already on to his next challenge: “I want to visit the Amazon and live purely off the land for one week. Then, [I want to] live on a deserted island – Survivor-style (like the TV show). Finally, I would love an extended visit to Costa Rica, or another Spanish-speaking country and immerse myself so I can become fully fluent in Spanish.”
Whatever comes next, he’ll continue to support his community. In addition to his support of the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, he also does his part to help the homeless in the Miami area.
“I know it’s not much, but I carry around peanut bars and crackers to give to the homeless when I see them at intersections,” Askowitz said. “It’s an easy and personal way to help.”