Tiverton native, East Providence golf pro plans 'Kili' climb for Alzheimer's awareness


EAST PROVIDENCE — Following the success of a previous endeavor to help those in need, local golf professional and outdoor enthusiast Devin Beck will attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa in early February.

Mr. Beck, an assistant pro at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford and a Tiverton native, last crossed the country on his bicycle, pedaling some 3,000 miles from the home of the International Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., to San Diego, Calif., in support of earthquake victims in Haiti.

This time, Mr. Beck, son of the late Don Beck, an East Providence native and himself a former golf pro at the Acoaxet Club in Westport who passed away in April of 2013, will be raising money for the Alzheimer's Association of Rhode Island.

"I'm dedicating both the climb and all of the money I raise to my late grandmother, Mary Gallagher, and also to one of my best friend's grandmother, Evelyn Sylvia, out of New Bedford who is currently stricken with the disease," Mr. Beck said.

His bike journey bisecting the United States last year helped raise some $6,000 for the non-profit group Executives Without Borders, which, through a program called "From Trash to Cash," worked to provide essentials, including clean water, to needy Haitians following the devastating earthquake that racked the Caribbean nation in 2010. His sojourn took 46 days and garnered about $4,000 more than he had hoped to raise.

From February 2 to 9, Mr. Beck, 25, along with his college roommate, Erik Robinson, will join an expedition of "Kili," the tallest free-standing and hike-able mountain in the world. Mr. Beck, a climbing novice, said he can attempt to ascend Mt. Kilimanjaro because no technical expertise is needed to traverse the noted landmark, which reaches a daunting 19,341 feet into the sky.

"I decided on 'Kili' because I like to do the extremes," Mr. Beck explained. "It's the highest mountain in the world you can hike and reach the summit without having to know anything about technical climbing. I like to go big and this is as big as it gets with the use of ice picks and carabiners (metal loops). It presents a formidable challenge."

Mr. Beck is using the website "Crowdrise" to raise money for his cause. To date, he has raised slightly more than half his goal of $2,500. Those wishing to donate can visit www.crowdrise.com/ClimbingKilimanjaroforalz/fundraiser/DevinBeck.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.