Active Board Member ‘Fights for Air’ with Lung Association

Michael T. Crawley, ‘steps up’ to honor uncle lost to asthma attack

(January 8, 2014)

The American Lung Association will host its sixth anniversary Fight for Air Climb in Providence on Saturday, February 22.  Climbers, including teams of firefighters, will tackle 22 floors inside the Omni Providence Hotel to raise money in the fight against lung disease. Michael T. Crawley, 31, board member for the American Lung Association of the Northeast, will continue his commitment to the Lung Association through the Fight for Air Climb. Crawley has served as the climb chairperson in addition to climbing on event day since the event’s inception in 2009.

Mike Crawley_Prov 2014
Michael T. Crawley hands out medals in 2013

Crawley has been an active volunteer with the American Lung Association since 2008. He currently serves as chair of the Northeast’s Audit Committee, sits on their Finance Committee, and once served as the chair of the American Lung Association in Rhode Island’s Leadership Board. Crawley has been a part of various local and regional committees, programs and special events, and is always willing to do more. He is additionally one of the youngest board members the organization has ever seen. As an adult suffering from asthma, Mike has continuously served as a spokesperson for the organization, educating others about what it is like to live with asthma and how best to manage the disease.

“Mike Crawley has been actively involved with the American Lung Association for several years, serving not just the local community but actively taking part in regional and national efforts as well,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Our Fight for Air Climb in Providence has grown rapidly over the past six years, both in participation and fundraising dollars, and that is in no small part due to Mike’s overwhelming enthusiasm and support.” The 2013 Providence Fight for Air Climb saw more than 800 participants and raised more than $192,000.

“I have lived with asthma my entire life,” said Crawley. “My uncle passed away from an asthma attack 18 years ago, and the event was very impactful and has never left me. When a colleague of mine brought the idea of partnering with the American Lung Association, it almost made too much sense. I have thoroughly enjoyed raising money and awareness for the cause and being around so many people who are inherently devoted to the mission. The mission of the Lung Association and my own personal mission naturally go hand-in-hand.”

Crawley recalls the day he heard of his uncle’s passing. It is something that has stuck with him for almost 20 years. The memory of his uncle, along with his own personal struggle with asthma, drives him as he continues his work with the Lung Association. Crawley’s uncle, Tom Crawley, Jr., was just 53 when he was running to catch a bus in New York City and suffered a fatal asthma attack.
Mike was just 12 years old when he lost his uncle, but felt they had developed a strong bond. He reveals that his uncle would talk to him about his asthma and offer advice on how to manage his symptoms, which Crawley explains were pretty severe as a kid. “I was young and impressionable when I lost my uncle, but old enough to realize that I wanted to make a difference on his behalf,” said Crawley.

In light of the connection to his uncle, Michael Thomas Crawley is especially proud of his middle name. He makes it a point to sign his name with his middle initial and prefers that his name appear in print as Michael T. Crawley. Mike explains that it reminds him why his work with the American Lung Association is so important. As a strong supporter of the American Lung Association’s research, education, and advocacy efforts, Crawley hopes that someday no one else will have to lose their life, or a loved one, to an asthma attack.

Mike, a Senior Manager and Certified Public Accountant, with degrees from both Providence College and Bryant University, has been with the Providence accounting firm LGC+D since 2003, where he began as an intern. The firm has served as a major corporate sponsor since the Fight for Air Climb’s inception in 2009. “It means so much to me to have the support of my firm,” said Crawley. “Everyone at LGC+D knows just how important my work with the American Lung Association is to me and I appreciate their support very much. I know the Lung Association does as well.”

Crawley ranked as the highest individual fundraiser at the inaugural Fight for Air Climb back in 2009. Each year since then, he has continued to rank among the top individual fundraisers, raising more than $1,000 annually. In 2013, Crawley personally raised $1,800. Crawley credits his strong network of friends, family, and supporters as well as the annual happy hour fundraiser he hosts with fellow Rhode Island board members on behalf of his climb team, ALARI Board & Friends. The climb’s afterparty venue, Rí Rá Irish Pub, hosts the happy hour benefit and offers discounted food and beverages in support of the Fight for Air Climb.

The 2014 Fight for Air Climb: Providence is made possible by generous sponsors Omni Hotel & Resorts, Rí Rá Irish Pub, Amica Insurance, MetLife, Genentech, LGC+D, Absolute Respiratory Care, Fidelity Investments, WJAR, NBC 10, and Coastline Medical. The event is open to people of all fitness abilities. Climbers can compete as individuals or form teams.  The stairclimb includes a special Firefighter Challenge where teams of firefighters from the local area and beyond compete by racing to the top of the building wearing full turnout gear.  Medals and trophies are awarded to the fastest teams in several categories at the afterparty that is held immediately after the climb at Rí Rá Irish Pub, just a short walk from the Omni Providence Hotel. All participants must individually raise a minimum of $100 by the day of the climb.

To make a donation to Michael T. Crawley, or to register for the 2014 Fight for Air Climb in Providence, visit Registration closes February 17; climbers can register for a $50 fee on event day.