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Everest climber given hero’s welcome

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LOWVILLE — More than 100 people lined the streets and gathered in Veterans Memorial Park on Friday evening to welcome home Dr. Manoj R. Vora, returning from a successful climb to the top of Mount Everest.

The 52-year-old Lowville doctor, accompanied by four Sherpas, reached the summit May 21, an accomplishment that completed Dr. Vora’s goal of reaching the “Seven Summits,” the highest points on each continent.

A surprise welcome was planned by his wife, Sheree, requesting that residents line the streets of Lowville to greet him. Dr. Vora made a pit stop at the Edge, a hotel in Lyons Falls, where he was met and congratulated by a small crowd.

As he entered the village of Lowville, he received a police escort, driving past Brookside Senior Living Community and through the streets decorated in his honor.

At the gathering at the park, Dr. Vora was greeted with hugs, kisses and congratulations.

“It feels good to be home,” he said, thanking those in attendance for their support. He said that while his dream of reaching the summits began in his homeland, India, it became a reality because of his life in America.

“It is not my achievement. It is our achievement,” he said.

Unlike an attempt in 2010, he said, this effort to summit Mount Everest was successful because of the support he had from the community in Lewis County, in the form of a diary of messages he took with him. Dr. Vora also used social media to update people on his progress and communicate with those at home.

Lewis County General Hospital CEO Eric R. Burch also spoke at the event. “We’re very proud to have you back safe and sound,” he said.

Village Mayor Donna M. Smith echoed the sentiment, adding, “Thank you for inspiring our community to climb our own personal mountains.”

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