The Story Behind ESET, Steve’s Climb, Called Wampler’s Ascent

ESET Steve's Climb Wampler's Ascent

Stephen J Wampler

The story behind ESET, Steve’s climb, called Wampler’s Ascent is an epic movie on Amazon Prime, about a man with cerebral palsy who climbed the famed El Capitan in Yosemite.   “That man is my husband”  When Steve set out to climb El Cap, we were introduced to an anti virus software company called ESET.  After the introduction to the management team, they became our principle sponsor, and began supporting The Stephen J Wampler Foundation, Camp Wamp, and namely the costs associated with Steve’s climb as well as the production costs the movie,  Wampler’s Ascent.

ESET is a stellar internet security techy company, but one of the many back stories is what stands out.

Right when we met and got engaged with the people at ESET, and they took us under their big wing, we were filming a promo commercial for American Express.  In the PSA for AE,  & from AE’s perspective, it was understood that ESET was partnering with us, and sponsoring Steve’s climb.  ESET brought people from their outsourced PR firm, and guided us from the start in something we had never done; make a commercial.

ESET Executives & PR Firm

Steve's Climb Wampler's Ascent ESET Founder Anton Zajec

ESET Founder Anton Zajec

So… while Steve and I were in our back yard filming,  the ESET crew was (maybe 10-15 executives and staffers) were  in our living room, planning and strategizing next moves for ESET on this piece that had their name on it along with ours.

The powwow in our living room brought up a question about their next moves:    What would they do from a company standpoint with this opportunity?  How should they treat the promotion of this effort and their part in it?   Management talked about the direction of their next move, and what made most sense in relation to ESET in the PSA.

The PR firm talked and talked, and then concluded collectively,  unanimously:  ESET landed on the risky side of no self-promotion whatsoever. They decided to not make ESET any part of their effort on our behalf, didn’t want to water down anything that Steve was trying to do or attention he was tryin got get around the climb.  It was decided and purposeful in the decision, resolved and purposeful.  They were not going to ask that anything pointed back at them, at ESET, but chose rather to support Steve quietly and wholly, staying in the background, but generous beyond measure and helpful on all levels.

Humble.  Gracious. Generous beyond measure.  Always.  That’s ESET.  (They do not know I’m writing this).  They had no way of knowing that Steve would summit, had no way of knowing if any part of their efforts would fly.  None of us knew what this movie would become, but they were so, so good to us anyway.

Steve and I have never, ever seen anything like it, and it has not been forgotten for even a split second.  When we got our new camp, the very first thing we did was name our big, main road, the first road you go on when you enter our property,  “Anton’s Way”,  after the founder of ESET.  We wanted to remember how and why we got just where we are today, there in the middle of all the good things happening at Camp Wamp.  (A donor bought us our new camp location after seeing Wampler’s Ascent…the film that ESET made happen).

ESET is smack dab in the heart of who we are and hope to be.  We will forever be grateful for their being the very definition of charitable, deeply committed,  smart, culturally principled, and altruistic to the very core.  We truly want the world to know what you’ve done for us.    ESET is a not just a stellar corporate brand, but the consummate humanitarian ideal.  We are forever grateful.