Grand Junction resident hosts fundraiser to help rebuild school in Nepal |

Grand Junction resident hosts fundraiser to help rebuild school in Nepal

Brittany Markert
Herbert Gearhart and his son Alex visited Nepal two years ago. Herbert is hosting a fundraiser with Yoga West Collective to raise money for a school which was destroyed during the earthquake in April 2015.
Submitted photo |


WHAT: Nepal school fundraising event

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Avalon Theatre, 649 Main St., Grand Junction

COST: $20 per person


It all started as a conversation between Herbert Gearhart and Golden, Colo. resident Lhakpa Sherpa at an airport three years ago. The two became friends and Gearhart ended up visiting Lukla, Nepal, the small village near the base of Mount Everest, which is also Lhakpa’s home town.

After the devastating earthquake happened in April 2015, the school where Lhakpa attended when he was a young boy and graduated from, was 90 percent destroyed. The school serves over 400 students of all ages from the many surrounding villages. The students are now learning in tents while they await funds to rebuild the school buildings.

Hearhart, with the help of Yoga West Collective, decided to do something and help raise money needed to rebuild the school.

The event is set for Monday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. at Avalon Theatre (649 Main St., Grand Junction). The night will be filled with meeting not only Lhakpa, but also meeting two other sherpas, Nima Karma Sherpa and Danuru Sherpa. Danuru has summited Mount Everest 16 times. A slide show of before and after photos in Nepal as well as a silent auction, cash bar and samples of a Nepal beer will fill the evening. The big auction item is a 10-day trek to the base of Mount Everest.

“We are an outdoor community and so many are connected with the mountains,” Gearhart said. “Many have even been to Nepal and trekked in the Everest area. We have a common thread with those people in Nepal.”

Tickets cost $20 per person and can be purchased online through Yoga West Collective. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door.

Gearhart hopes to raise at least $20,00 for the school. The total to rebuild the school’s nine buildings which were destroyed totals $250,000.

“I feel a need to give back to people all over the world,” Gearhart said. “We aren’t the only game in town. Having traveled to many other parts of the world, you see what little some have, and right now that was taken away.”

Fun fact: Sherpa is a group of indigenous people in Nepal from Tibet which means people from the east. It is a group of people that live in the mountain and have the same last name, Sherpa.

Gearhart added students from West Middle School have also been in contact with the students from the school.

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