Retirement is for many people a chance to slow down and relax after 65 years of hard work. For Bette Kitt it was chance to explore other interests. From sky diving to mountain climbing, this Auburn alum knows a little something about adventures and for her, she doesn't let her age become her excuse.
Kitt says that she has always had a love for people and after traveling to Tanzania several times she saw a need to help in some of the orphanages there. She partnered with an orphanage and found sponsors that would donate as she climbed her way to making a difference. “ I made the decision at the age of 67 to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, (the tallest mountain in Africa and the fourth tallest in the world). My vocabulary is too limited to truely put into words the impact that has had on my life,” said Kitt.Through the climb she was able to raise not only money to help the orphanage, but also to raise an awareness about the needs in Tanzania.
As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Kitt decided a few years back to design and market a product that she would later name “Spirit Mat.”
“While I’ve never been a creative person, I had this idea several years ago for a unique Auburn product that I carried through from the dream phase all the way to market,” said Kitt. The idea for the child’s play mat came when Kitt was looking for one for her grandson and couldn’t find anything that fit the mold.
Launching a new product has been anything, but glamorous though. Establishing the LLC, securing the licensing, and working tirelessly with a graphic artist to make sure he understood what Kitt was envisioning was both exciting and stressful. “You should think long and hard before getting into it (product design). I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was stretched to do things I knew nothing about. It was a real challenge, but I guess the lesson I take away from this is when your desire is strong enough you’ll do whatever it takes to make things happen.”
With a product on the market and her adventures at Mount Kilimanjaro behind her, what’s next for Kitt? “ Who knows what the future will bring. I’m very blessed to be healthy, active and available to whatever plans God has for me from now until he calls me home.”