Gary and Courtney Photography » Life and Photography

Mt Everest Base Camp Fundraiser

Meet Elisha Reimer (above right). A vibrant teenager from Bend, OR who is the eldest of 5 kids, loves sports and the great outdoors, and has Down Syndrome. In March, I (Gary) will have the honor of joining Eli, his father Justin, and a team of supporters in Nepal as we climb to the Base Camp of Mt Everest to raise funds and awareness for ‘The Elisha Foundation’ (TEF). My purpose on the team will be to document the journey and tell Eli’s story as he ascends to the foot of the worlds highest mountain. As far as we know, he’s only the second person with that disability to attempt such a feet. He’s so excited for the challenge and has been training in anticipation of the trek.

The struggle our team will face on this mountain poetically mirrors the struggle of a family caring for a person with a disability… except that their journey is not just for a few weeks, but for a lifetime. It’s a relentless struggle that often makes the whole family feel isolated and hopeless. This is where The Elisha Foundation (TEF) comes in. Through its Respite, Retreat & Reach programs, TEF provides encouragement, community and rest to those burdened with the care of a disabled person. They also help educate and equip people around the world (both families and volunteers) to provide proper care and help to break down barriers that are faced by those with disabilities and their families. We strongly believe in this cause, have actively supported the efforts of TEF for the last 4 years and have been thrilled with the results of their work. To view more information about this trek, please visit

TEF has recently begun a ministry in Ukraine where the need is massive. Our help is needed to continue this work! (The images below are from our good friend Benjamin Edwards who joined TEF in Ukraine and documented their work there this last summer.)

There is a huge social stigma in Ukraine against people with disabilities and generally speaking, they are not seen as real people. Parents are strongly encouraged to put their special needs children into an orphanage which has led to over-crowding and poor conditions. Parents who decide to keep their disabled children at home are faced with unbelievable challenges and live in isolation. The new work in Ukraine is a grassroots ministry near the city of Chernigiv that was launched this past summer when Justin (Eli’s father) took the whole family (including all 5 kids) to live in Ukraine for 3 months while they got the programs started. They are empowering locals to educate their community and providing resources for families that are caring for someone with a disability. They have also created a team of people who are committed to visiting a couple of the local orphanages to spend time with and encourage the residents there.

So here’s the deal: We’ve committed to raising $10,000 (yikes) specifically for TEF’s work in Ukraine. We’re totally intimidated by that amount, but we know how far those funds can go and believe that with your help we can make a huge impact! We need you to give as much as you can to extend The Elisha Foundations global reach, specifically to the orphans with disabilities in Ukraine. As you consider giving, we want you to know that we are covering all personal costs for this trip (including your PayPal transaction fees!) so 100% of what you donate goes straight to the work in Ukraine. Alright, LET’S DO THIS!!! Here’s a few incentives for you as you give:

We will get your address from the donation form and send you the postcard when we get back.

VIEW LIMITED EDITION OPTIONSAfter donating please following the instructions underneath the ‘Donate Now’ button and leave a comment to let us know your choice (A or B). We will get your address from the donation form and send you the option that you chose.

VISIT THE GALLERY of images that AMAZING photographers from around the world have generiously donated for this cause – After making your donation (below), please leave a comment on this blog post and note the number associated with the print you would like to receive.

*UPDATE: All matching funds have been used. Even though we can no longer match funds, any small amount will help and go a long way, so please consider helping!

Adam & Shawna (0 of 1 left, San Diego, CA)  |  Ana & Jerome (1 of 1 left, Cabo San Lucas)  |  Aim & Arrow Photographers (1 of 1 left, Santa Cruz, CA)  |   Benjamin Edwards (0 of 1 left, Bend, OR)  |  Carly Loves Amos (0 of 1 left, Bismarck, ND)  |  Cypher Photography (1 of 1 left, Holton, KS)  |  Gary & Courtney (0 of 2 left, Oceanside, CA)  |  He& She Photography (1 of 1 left, Paso Robels, CA)  |  Jim & Ravyn Photography (1 of 1 left, Portland, OR) |  Love Made Visible (1 of 1 left, Cape Town, S. Africa)  |  Mark Brooke Photographers (1 of 1 left, Ladera Ranch, CA)  | Mathieu Photography (0 of 1 left, Ladera Ranch, CA)  |  Nate & Jenna Photography (0 of 1 left, Maui, HI) |  Photographs By Anjuli (0 of 1 left, Escondido, CA)  |  Reaux Photo (1 of 1 left, Lafayette, LA)  |  Sara & Rocky (0 of 1 left, Dallas, TX)  | Stone Crandall Photography (0 of 1 left, Encinitas, CA)  |  Thrive Photography (2 of 2 left, Nashville, TN)  | Wild Eyed Photography (1 of 1 left, Toronto, Canada)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! We are overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled by your support and response. We cannot adequately express how blessed we feel to have a community that believes so strongly in helping those in need and putting to good use the abundance we have all been given. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

(If missed your opportunity and would still like to donate, by all means, please do so below! We’d love your support and every penny of from your donation will still go straight the cause! Thank you so much!)

AFTER DONATING, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW - using your name (or as anonymous) and the amount you have donated - so that we can thank you, record the donations in one place, match applicable funds, and note which ‘Giving Rewards’ have taken place.

Show Hide 69 comments

Jasmine - Good article. I’m dealing with some of these issues as

dancing for kids dance for kids - I think this web site contains some rattling wonderful information for everyone. “The fewer the words, the better the prayer.” by Martin Luther.

Christine Otte - Christine Otte – $75. So excited to play a little part in this!

Amos Loves Carly - We just donated $350 for a portrait session with the amazing Gary and Courtney!!

Gary - Wow wow wow! Thank you everyone!!! Absolutely amazing. We can’t ever thank you all enough for all your generosity and support with this entire project!

If you’d still like to give, please do, we’ll need all money we can get for this cause and every penny will still go straight towards our efforts in Ukraine.

Jamie - Hi! We donated $40. We are so happy to be a part of this!! Good luck, safe travels, and can’t wait to see any pics from the adventure!!! :)

~ Jamie and Kelley Chura

Roehr4+1 - Love you two! Dont think of this as a donation of a C-Note, think of it as keeping me from buying a bunch of dirty chocolate. Bring us back some pink snow, Brooklyn says its better then yellow.

clark - Jah Bless!

Gary - Craig, got it :) Awesome man. Really appreciate it!

Craig Flood - Mis-type // section 3 not 2…

Craig Flood - Craig Flood // $75.00
Section 2 // #1 Yosemite Picture

Thanks guys!

David - Donation amount: $20

The Youngrens - Donation amount: $50!!!

Gary - Wow, thank you Jacob + Christin!!! So excited to hang and photograph your beautiful mugs :)

Jacob + Christin Willis - THANK YOU for this opportunity to give!!! You are amazing!! We are crossing our fingers that there’s still a photo session with Gary + Courtney available! LOVE this cause.

Elyzabeth - $25- It isn’t much, but this wonderful cause is close to our hearts! My late aunt had disabilities and she was one of my favorite people on this planet! Praying for Gods blessings on this amazing adventure!! =]

Gary - Mahalo Woodard family! Love you guys. Thank you for the support :) Your donation has been TRIPLE MATCHED. Making it $450, what what!?!

Michael and Ciara - Donation amount :$150. Love you guys, Love your passion and LOVE that you share your lives, love and passion!!!

Gary - Thanks ladies!!! All your donations have been TRIPLED!!! Totaling $465 in donations. Thank you SO MUCH :)

Molly - Donation amount $30

Marsha & Dennis - Donation amount: $100

Elizabeth - Donation Amount: $25

Gary - Thanks so much everyone!!! Nadine, you’re $150 donation has officially been TRIPLE MATCHED making it a total of $450. So rad :)

Anonymous - Donation amount: $350 – for Adam & Shawna’s portrait session!

Nadine - Donation amount: $150

Krysta & Vince - Donation amount: $500

Gary - Thank you so much Jennifer (and Carly & Amos). Ya’ll are AMAZING!

Gary - Jennie! Awesome. THANK YOU!

Jennie - Donated $75. Image #27 please :)

Jennifer Preskey - Jennifer Preskey
#5 Photography Session
Carly & Amos- Bismarck, ND
Thanks :)

Gary - Right on Matt & Maisha. Mahalo!!!

Matt & Maisha - Donation amount: $200 You guys are awesome!!!

Nate and Jenna - Woohoo!! Thank you Coetzee family! Looking forward to it!!

Gary - THANK YOU Billie & Scott! Holla! Your donation has been matched :)

Billie & Scott - Hope our $50 helps you make your goal!!! xoxo

Gary - Alright Coetzee Fam :) Mahalo!!!

Coetzee Family - Donation amount: $350 – for Nate & Jenna’s Portrait Session

Gary - Megan! Thank you SO MUCH :)

Megan Plenge - $50…option B please! Good luck and praying for a safe trip!!

Rebecca & Bruce - Donated Amount: $350 for a portrait session with Gary & Courtney

Gary - Donation Amount: $825 in matching funds so far!!! Thank you everyone! Any donation makes a HUGE difference!

Gary - WOW! So rad. Thank you Judy!!!

Judy M - Donation amount $350 – for a portrait session for mathieu photography :)

Ali W - Boatloads of prayer! God is going to do amazing things!

Gary - Rafidah! Thank you so much! You’re gonna love that print! We can’t wait to get ours too!

Gary - Sara & Rocky – no way! Unreal :) THANK YOU!!!

Sara & Rocky - We want our big ol’ faces in a photo with you! Better pic a pretty one of us too! :)

rafidah - $50 – option 1 please :) thanks!

Gary - J&R, so rad! :)

Jim & Ravyn - We couldn’t pick a favorite so we decided to do 2 donations of $75. :) Numeros 14 & 30, please! Super excited to have the beauteous works from The Image Is Found and Sara & Rocky on our walls!

Gary - Mahalo Ajja :)

Ajja - Donated $50!!!! Can’t wait to see the pictures and hear about this really awesome trip!!!!

Gary - Thanks MISTY :) Ben is so great! Glad you snagged that!

Carolyn - Donation amount: $30

Misty - The Thrash Family is excited to support such a great cause, and are looking forward to having an opportunity to have a photo shoot with Benjamin Edwards!

He & She - Donation Amount $50

Stone - Yeah Michelle! Thank you so much! We cannot wait to shoot with you!!

Gary - Marc, THANK YOU :) You got it!

Marc Bosscher - $50, Wish I could join you but I can’t so go take me a fantastically fantastic picture please!

Gary - Nate & Jenna!!!!!! YES! Thank you. Your donation is matched!!!

Nate & Jenna - $150 matching donation. Thanks for organizing this G&C. You guys rock our socks off!

Gary - Thanks for your support James! Come join us in Nepal :)

James Stiehl - Donation amount: $100 – This is awesome. I wish I could sign up for the trek. I love the Khumbu region of Nepal!

I would like image #1.

Gary - Thanks Sean!!! It’s much appreciated!!!

Gary - Right on! Thank you Michelle, Jennifer and Tara, so RAD. A HUGE SHOUT-OUT to photographers Anjuli, Sara & Rocky and Stone – you all amazingly generous!!! We’re over 10% there!!!

Sean - Donation amount: $75 – Sarah and I would like #32 please. Thanks for doing this for an awesome cause!

Michelle - Donation amount: $350 for Stone Crandall Portrait Session! woo hoo!

Jennifer - Donation amount: $350 – for Anjuli’s Portrait Session

Tara - Donation amount: $350 – for Sara & Rocky’s Portrait Session

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