Six New Jersey women are planning to scale one of the world’s tallest mountains to raise money and awareness for causes they’re passionate about. 

Calling themselves  “The Jersey Girls Climbing Africa”, the team of six are heading to Kenya to climb Mount Kilimanjaro this fall.  Susan Belfer of Fair Haven says she’s climbing on behalf of her four-year-old son David who was diagnosed with Autism last April.  “I’m climbing for Autism Speaks, on his behalf, on his voice, on his strength and this is his mountain.”

However, Belfer says other team members are supporting different causes that they believe will help the children of the world, like the Masai Girls’ Liberation/Education fund, My Genes Fit, the Pacer Center, Prevention First and Save the Cord Foundation.

While she admits there are easier ways to raise money for these causes, the climb is about more than fundraising.  Belfer says “my story speaks to the parents of children who have autism as well as the children who think that anything is possible if you put your mind to something then you can do it.”

Belfer says inspiration for the climb came from her cousin Candice Harris-Belfer who attempted to make the climb last year but she was prevented by a personal tragedy.

She says a documentary entitled “Out of Jersey Into Africa” will cover the before, during and after of the trip, giving the life story and preparation of each woman.

Belfer says they’re also preparing for the seven to nine day climb by building their endurance.  She personally has been running with her cousin and will be running a marathon but she says “we’re going to start hiking. We’re scheduling a couple of climbs that we’ll be, we’ll probably reach about three thousand feet high and then we’ll be graduating to Utah and Colorado and also to Arizona.”

The group is holding a kick off the climb event on Wednesday April 18th at the Draft House in Long Branch.  They’ve even set up a web site and Facebook page under Kilimanjaro No Ceilings about the event.