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She Climbed Mountains and Changed the World

Sandie Godsman hiked the Swiss Alps in 2016 to raise funds for the Health for Life program that provides women’s preventive health services.


by Rachel Turner

Sandie Godsman, an energetic woman from Colorado, loves a challenge.  While running last minute errands, she spoke on the phone before jumping on a plane to Germany and Austria for a hiking and biking trip.  “I have a passion for hiking, biking, skiing, and nature,” said Sandie. “That fits in really well with the [Friendship Bridge] Wildflower Hike and the Health for Life campaign.”

Participants of the Wildflower Hike event enjoy a gourmet lunch after learning about and photographing wildflowers.

Sandie created the Wildflower Hike as a fundraiser for Friendship Bridge four years ago.  Since then, she has involved John Fielder, a prominent wildflower photographer from Colorado.  “I went to a presentation and book signing thinking that the worst he could say is ‘no,’” said Sandie.  “But he agreed to give a presentation on wildflowers and to hike with us.”  This year, John invited the group to his home in Silverthorne, Colorado, for a wildflower presentation, a hike with photography tips, and a gourmet lunch prepared by Evergreen Circle.  The group came back excited about what they had learned.

A full-time teacher, Sandie learned about Friendship Bridge while doing a 500-mile bike ride in 1988 with Connie Ning, one of the founders.  Sandie began volunteering with Friendship Bridge while raising her two children, teaching full-time, completing a Master’s degree, and continuing her love of the outdoors. “After I retired, I wanted to do more,” said Sandie.  So she began helping with the annual Friendship Bridge Gala auction and the Health for Life campaign. 

Last year Sandie hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc  to raise funds for the Health for Life campaign, reaching 20,000 feet in elevation gain. “I want people to realize that they have so much potential to accomplish,” said Sandie who is achieving incredibly athletic feats in her 60s. “Life is about getting out there to challenge ourselves to great adventures and then contribute in some way while doing these great adventures.” 

Today, she’s still climbing mountains to change the world.

Challenge yourself for change and join the Friendship Bridge Health for Life campaign to support the women’s preventive health services provided to Friendship Bridge clients in Guatemala.  For more information, or to get involved, visit: www.friendshipbridge.org/events