Youth Rock Climbing Grants Honoring Teen Victim of the Heroin Crisis

urban peaks header

urban peaks headerNovember 28, 2022 – Urban Peaks, a non-profit dedicated to providing outdoor adventures to children in the Northeast, and the family of Dan Cook joined forces in 2021 to help raise money for underprivileged youth in New England.

To date, the Dan Cook Memorial Fund has awarded funding for 9 children in Massachusetts and Vermont whose families were unable to furnish costs associated with rock climbing.  Continued funding is needed to maintain its mission to inspire children to pursue their dreams and passion for climbing and to preserve Dan’s name and enthusiasm for this sport, now a summer Olympic game.

Urban Peaks, founded in 2011 based in Everett MA, says there is great potential for living a positive life through changing experiences, character and team building, and promoting self-esteem for youth through rock climbing and other outdoor adventurers. These positive experiences should be available to all.

Dan, at the age of 12, began rock climbing at gyms in the Boston area.  Bouldering was his passion. With the help of climbing shoes, chalk, a pad and total concentration, every climb – called problems – had a solution to be figured out.  He was drawn to the physical and mental challenge.

Tragically in November 2013, Dan, 18, overdosed on heroin.  Part of his story can be seen here in the March 2014 Boston Globe article

Dan’s family would like to change this tragedy to hope for others and to create an awareness that addiction can be overcome.  Last year, at a fundraising event for Urban Peaks, the Nate Draughn Story was screened. Draughn is a Mad Rock athlete who struggled with addiction and is now a sponsored rock climber.

For more information on Urban Peaks, which also provides grants for group programs, contact Pat Enright of Metrorock Climbing Center at or 617-387-7625.

To learn more about Dan Cook and what the scholarship fund means to his loved ones and the next generation of young climbers, contact his mother, Suzanne Howard of Sharon, Massachusetts at or 617-584-5409.

Donations to Urban Peak, either to the Dan Cook Scholarship Fund or for Group Programs, can be made here Or check out the newly developed GoFundMe Website at

CBJ press releases are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.