Charity zipline event a fundraiser for youth group’s Panama trip

CENTRE WELLINGTON – On Sept. 18, One Axe Pursuits in Elora will host a charity zipline event benefitting the Grace Christian Fellowship Youth Group’s Panama leadership development trip next March.

One Axe Pursuits business partner Christa Niravong said the company reached out to the Grace Youth Group after hearing about its development program.

She said that the event is open to everyone, and the minimum age to participate is three. The event will run from 10 to 4pm, and last rides for the single-ride ziplining will be at about 3:30pm. 

“I’m really excited, I think this is going to be great. We haven’t had a single-ride zipline since before COVID and we’re really happy to do this for the community,” said Niravong.

For those who may not feel up to the ziplining experience, Grace Christian Fellowship youth pastor Jason Durst told the Advertiser people are welcome to join the event to enjoy food, booths at Victoria Park, and watch Mayor Shawn Watters try the zipline at noon.

Durst added that travelling to Panama in March will act as the final piece of the seven-month youth leadership development program, and the entire program is called MIP (the Mission Immersion Program).

“We’ll be working through values such as work ethic, friendship, love and generosity,” said Durst.

The youth pastor noted some members in his youth group have struggled or are still struggling with their mental health. He is hopeful that this trip will bring some purpose into the lives of these teens to help with these daily struggles.

Durst explained the trip is designed to get the youth outside of their small town and provide them with a new cultural experience. 

Grace youth will be working alongside an Indigenous tribe in Panama called the Ngäbe. Durst has friends who live in Panama, and that is how they all got connected.

“The biggest needs there are food, lodging, and then there’s this huge void where their kids are just sitting around and some of them are going to school, some of them aren’t getting fed,” explained Durst.

“Rather than coming in as like, Savior, which I think a lot of missions trips, a lot of service trips, [can] have that mindset … We want to be able to show the Ngäbe that … [they] have stuff to teach us.”

The group plans on raising at least $10,000 for the people of Panama and the Ngäbe, and then the ten youths enrolled in the program are already fundraising to assist in the costs of getting to Panama to begin with. 

Durst said the goal to assist in costs for the youth attending is about $20,000. 

He added he would like the trip to end like the book titled The Ultimate Gift.

“This is an intensive seven-month process of healing and growing so that these youth, when they get home, they’ve found a new sense of peace and a new sense of purpose.”

If you would like to attend the zipline charity event, a minimum $50 donation is suggested. 

For companies who want to sponsor a boss to go ziplining, a donation of $100 is requested. Donations over $50 will also get a tax receipt. 

Donations are also accepted through etransfer to: (include your name and in the memo box refer to MIP Panama). To donate through the website visit

Any questions can be forwarded to Durst at