Sherpa Foundation raises funds for villages in Nepal | VailDaily.com

Sherpa Foundation raises funds for villages in Nepal

The Sherpa Foundation is hosting a benefit today for Nepali villages devastated by the earthquakes. It's 5-8 p.m. today in the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.

In Nepal's Cheplung village, where Pemba Sherpa grew up, the recent earthquake destroyed 34 homes.

The neighboring village suffered the same way, and the village after that and the one after that … devastation and death as far as the eye can see.

It's this simple: More than 7,000 died. With the monsoon season starting, if someone doesn't help the people of Nepal, then thousands more will die. That someone is us.

It took all Pemba had to keep from dropping everything to go to Nepal. Instead, he set up the nonprofit Sherpa Foundation and is raising support the right way.

"The people in our villages look at us as the light at the end of their tunnel," Pemba said. "If people want to contribute, they will be proud to see the changes they have helped make."

The Sherpa Foundation is hosting a benefit tonight, and they're careful to make sure the money goes to people who really need it, Sherpa said.

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"If we can adopt one village at a time, we can make changes in people's lives," Pemba said. "With this foundation, we're hoping to help the people in the remote regions of Nepal for as long as we can."

Pemba has had Sherpa Painting for more than 15 years here in the Vail Valley.

"Every one of my clients called and messaged me, asking what they could do to help. I was overwhelmed," Pemba said.

The Sherpa Foundation money will go directly to those Nepalese villages.

"We can better help the people who really need it," he said.

Walking community

Pemba left Nepal 10 days before the earthquake. He was there four months building a stupa (Buddhist shrine) for the community and a home for his parents. Several monks performed a blessing ceremony, attended by 1,500 people.

"Our part of Nepal is a walking community, and everyone knows everyone," Pemba said. "The trek to Everest goes right in front of my house."

Then the earthquake hit.

When the first earthquake hit, many homes were damaged in the Everest region.

Those kind-hearted people whose homes were not leveled did not take the tents or sleeping bags sent by relief agencies, because others needed them more, Pemba said.

Then the second earthquake hit, and the aftershocks, and leveled the rest of the homes in Cheplung village, and most of the surrounding villages.

"Everyone's home needs to be torn down and rebuilt," Pemba said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If You Go

What: Sherpa Foundation benefit for Nepal earthquake victims

When: 5-8 p.m. on Saturday

Where: Eagle-Vail Pavilion

Cost: Donations

Information: The Sherpa Foundation is a local 501-C-3 non-profit that puts money directly into Nepali villages devastated by the earthquakes. They’ll be serving Nepali food, and give an update on the earthquakes and relief efforts. The Eagle-Vail Golf course donated their par 3 golf course for foot golf and regular golf.