On Thursday, the Holy Comforter Episcopal School hosted the 2014 Fall Lecture Series featuring Chris Waddell in its Student Center. The event was presented by Hancock Bank.
The lecture by Chris Waddell was titled: “It’s not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”
According to Holly Wilbourn, Lecture Committee member, the Lecture Series was implemented in 2012 to add value to Holy Comforter. Wilbourn believed Chris Waddell is a great speaker for this year’s series, because he has a great message and spent time with the students.
Chris Waddell is a Paralympic who was injured in a ski accident in 1988, which paralyzed him from the waist down. Waddell won 12 Paralympic medals as a monoskier, along with many awards in other sports.
In Sept. 2009, Waddell became the first paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro almost entirely on his own.
Waddell’s Mt. Kilimanjaro feat encouraged attendee Charles Hopkins, because climbing the African mountain is on his bucket list.
“I’m totally encouraged by Chris, because my son [Chase] and I will climb Kilimanjaro in the next five years,” Hopkins said.
The event opened with a welcome from the Head of School Peter Klekamp who said the Lecture Series is just the beginning of more for Holy Comforter Episcopal School.
Holy Comforter student Taylor Stephens followed Klekamp with singing the national anthem.
Market president of Hancock Bank Emory Mayfield expressed gratitude for the opportunity to sponsor the Holy Comforter’s Lecture Series.
Then, Klekamp introduced the speaker of the night, Chris Waddell.
Chris Waddell shared his experience climbing the 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. Waddell explained he climbed the mountain for the 1.1 billion disabled people in the world.
Waddell trained by doing 40 miles per day on a track, so he encouraged the audience by saying “Perform the way prepare,” which created an arousal in the audience.
After his lecture, Waddell received a standing ovation.
Head of School Peter Klekamp presented Waddell with two gifts, a Holy Comforter Episcopal School hat and FSU hat.
Waddell believes his accident wasn’t a curse, but blessing for others. He wants to challenge people’s way of competition by pushing them beyond their own limited thoughts.
Waddell wants people to leave his lectures with “a little different perspective on how they see themselves and others.” Waddell wants people to view life from a universal level.
Chris Waddell’s Mt. Kilimanjaro climb is documented in his film titled “1 Revolution.”
The Holy Comforter Episcopal School strives for its students and community to be positively “different” through its events, such as the Lecture Series.