Anderson Co. teachers to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds fo - FOX Carolina 21

Anderson Co. teachers to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for new Townville ES playground

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Anderson Co. teachers to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for new Townville ES playground (7/19/17) Anderson Co. teachers to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for new Townville ES playground (7/19/17)
Jacob Hall (Source: Family) Jacob Hall (Source: Family)
TOWNVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Anderson County school teachers are tying their capes and shining their masks as they prepare for the climb of a lifetime.

This year, the group is dressing as superheroes to honor the life of on especial student. Their mission is to make it 20,000 feet to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The teachers say the district is still devastated by the shooting that took place on the Townville Elementary School playground, ending the life of first grader Jacob Hall.

Months later and much of that equipment is still being used, but the teachers say this climb is to raise money for a new playground.

This attempt isn't the first for the group, however. Last year, not many of them made it to the top, but the teachers say this year they have more drive because they want to be superheroes for Jacob.

Anderson County school teachers Helen Watson and Raquel Lemrick say they are working out at the gym and climbing smaller mountains around the Upstate in preparation for their brutal climb.

Their main concern, however, remains the cold temperatures toward Mt. Kilimanjaro's summit.

"It's something I said I would never, ever ever do again," said Watson. "But after the shooting in Townville and what they went through, if they are strong enough to do that and still get through that, then I can climb a silly little mountain."

But it will be no small task. Watson says the pressure is on since last year's attempt because her students are cheering her on in Anderson County.

"When I got back and showed them this picture I said I was way up here," said Watson. "They said, 'That's nice Ms. Watson, but did you go here?' "

Raquel Lemrick says she can't quit because the cause is too important. She was at school the day a tragic shooting brought Townville to its knees.

"It was just awful," said Lemrick. "I can't imagine that you send your child to school and they don't ever come back. And because it could have happened anywhere, I think we need to remember and build a memorial."

Both teachers say the old playground still holds painful memories for many teachers and faculty, but since last Fall, the community has been raising money to build a new one.

"It's expensive," Lemrick explained. "It has to be built to code and we need some donations to get it going."

And while Watson and Lemrick say they are still a ways off from their goal, they want to build something little Jacob Hall would be proud of.

"I think this playground will help heal the community," said Lemrick. "Those teachers and those students have an image of what happened that day and we can't change that, but maybe we can change what it looks like a little bit."

You can donate to help build the new Townville Elementary School playground HERE.

RELATED: Townville school shooting headlines

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