What started as a prayerful desire by Brad Jubin to get healthy for the sake of his children has resulted not only in success by him to get in better physical condition, but it also launched him into helping others by climbing mountains.
Jubin, who is senior vice president and associate broker at Coldwell Banker Commercial Bullard in Peachtree City, made the decision four years ago to lose weight while attending a Souly Business retreat, where the focus is to inspire men to live out their Christian faith and values in their professional and personal lives. At that point in his life, he weighed a solid 250 pounds.
After returning home, he realized that despite his resolve, he still wasn’t exercising or eating the right food to shed pounds. And then he heard about the 2008 Climb for Kids, an effort to raise funding for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, from Rick Davidson, who was then president of the Coldwell Banker Commercial worldwide network. “Encouraged by Rick, I decided that I could climb a mountain and lose weight in the process,” said Jubin.
Training and getting himself in shape for that first climb to summit Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams back-to-back in five days indeed proved an effective way for him to lose weight, and he completed the climb being near the best shape in his life. The 2008 Climb for Kids group raised $40,000 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Jubin developed an enthusiasm for climbing mountains and for using this new skill as a way to help locally. “My wife Kristy suggested we climb for a local child in need, but the details were daunting. How do you pick one child? What is the tax liability to the family”?
He found the solution through the Hudson Family Foundation, co-founded by Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson and his wife Kim, which pairs fundraising with kids and families needing assistance. A plan was formulated through which Jubin would climb the mountain, paying his own way, and the Hudson Family Foundation would take care of the foundation’s administrative costs. Among the missions of the foundation is to award individual grants to families needing assistance because of a specific physical, emotional or financial circumstance, and money raised from the climb would go toward funding these grants.
Jubin was part of a team which signed on to climb Aconcagua, a mountain in the Andes range in Argentina which rises 22,841 feet, is the highest mountain in the Southern and Western hemispheres, and is the highest in the world outside of the Himalayas. He was the only team member representing the Hudson Family Foundation Climb for Kids 2012. Along with his gear, Jubin carried with him two Louisville Slugger bats used in a game by Tim Hudson (who for a pitcher is considered an excellent hitter), which he planned to hold in the shape of a cross once he reached the mountain’s summit. He said this idea came from his wife Kristy, who noticed that bats forming a cross are a major feature of the Hudson Family Foundation’s logo.
The adventure began in mid February with a 30-mile hike from the highway to base camp with mules carrying most of the climbers’ gear to that point. After that, the climbers and their guide donned their heavy packs and began their 15-day sojourn on the mountain. The team’s ascent was not without trials, including a storm which threatened to end the effort, extreme altitude, traversing areas with snow and ice, and medical problems experienced by two members of the group, one of whom had to be evacuated by helicopter. Ultimately, in early March, the team made it to the top, and among the photographs taken at the summit was one of Jubin holding the baseball bats as a cross as a tribute to the Hudson Family Foundation.
“We feel so fortunate that Brad did this for our benefit,” said Kim Hudson. “and it’s nice to meet someone who is that passionate about anything”.
For Jubin, who returned home with just a touch of treatable frostbite, his latest mountain adventure is the next step in his “life-changing decision,” and he is ready for more. “With the climb, we were able to raise over $13,000 for the Hudson Family Foundation, and I firmly believe that no matter what you do, you can leverage it to help others”. So, what’s next on the agenda? While no specific plans are yet being made, he has his thoughts on Mt. Elbrus, which is in Europe, or Mt. McKinley in the U. S. He also likes the future possibility of climbing Kilimanjaro in Africa with his family.
Jubin expressed appreciation to his family, wife Kristy and children Christian and Madison, for their support in his effort. “All of my clients were also among my biggest supporters, as well as my colleagues in the Bullard organization”, he noted. The baseball bats he carried and some of the climbing gear he used, along with Hudson Family Foundation summit flags, were sent to the Louisville Slugger museum in Louisville, Kentucky, where they will be displayed this summer. “The museum gets around 238,000 visitors a year, so I’m really excited about the exposure the foundation will get”, he said.