South Line Fire Company Ready to Climb One HSBC Center to Support Lung Association

Team “Top of the Line” Will Compete in Fight for Air Climb on March 9

For the third year in a row, the South Line Fire Company will be climbing in the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s Fight for Air Climb at One HSBC Center in Buffalo.  The team, captained by Joanne Moore Beutler of Cheektowaga, will be climbing both to remember loved ones they’ve lost to lung disease and to raise awareness about the importance of healthy lungs and the harm to lungs and overall health that tobacco use causes.  Moore Beutler will be climbing in memory of her dad, Lee Moore, who smoked several packs of cigarettes a day and later developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that required him to use oxygen for the last eight years of his life.  His sister, also a smoker, met a similar fate. 

Photo of Team Top of the Line
Team Top of the Line is pictured at the 2012 Fight for Air Climb in Buffalo. From left to right, are team members Eric Schnurstein, Daniella Rezabek, Jessica Beutler, Phil Osieja, Joanne Moore Beutler and Michael Altenburg. Missing from the photo is team member David Profic.

Having seen the damage smoking can cause firsthand, Joanne doesn’t smoke and is adamant that none of her children smoke. “Your quality of life goes down incredibly fast when you can no longer breathe,” she says.  “I’ve stressed to my children that we need to have healthy lungs in order to enjoy a good quality of life and that smoking cigarettes and breathing in secondhand smoke threaten that.”

One of the people climbing with Joanne will be her daughter, Jessica, who is the 2013 Fire Prevention Queen.  It happens to be her birthday on the day of the climb and she says she is excited about doing something fun to raise money for a good cause.  Another team member is climbing because he lost his grandmother to lung cancer.  Still another team member lost a mother to lung cancer.

“I think the work the Lung Association is doing to educate people about the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke is very important,” said Moore Beutler. “You don’t have to be a smoker to be affected by tobacco smoke.  I am encouraged when I hear that more and more communities are looking to expand the number of smokefree outdoor areas including parks because that is something I fully support.  Many people I know have children with asthma and coming into contact with tobacco smoke can really harm them.”

Joanne first learned of the Fight for Air Climb when she saw a flyer posted at One HSBC Center in 2011 where she then worked.  She recruited two others to climb with her that first year and the team has grown every year since.  This year, the Top of the Line Team has 8 members.  

Moore Beutler’s goal for this year’s climb is to beat her time from last year and meet her $500 fundraising goal.  She’s well on her way having already raised $350.

“The more I talk to people, the more I find  that people  have someone close to them who has been affected by a lung disease or by asthma,” said Moore Beutler. “All of us have an interest in the work the Lung Association is doing because all of us breathe.”

Those who want to join in the fight for air can register for the event or make a donation at  This is the third year the Lung Association is hosting the Fight for Air Climb in Buffalo.  Last year the event drew more than 325 participants, including 50 firefighters who competed in a separate Firefighter Challenge.   Participants race or walk up the building’s 38 flights (800 stairs) all to raise money to fight lung disease.

The Fight for Air Climb is generously sponsored by Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo News, WGRZ Channel 2, 103.3 The Edge, Fleet Feet  Sports and One HSBC Center. The event is also made possible with the support of national Corporate Team sponsor, Kindred Healthcare.

Those who have questions about the Fight for Air Climb in Buffalo should contact Jaime Anderson at