JoAnn Cross

JoAnn Cross became involved with the American Lung Association several years ago after seeing many firefighters and 9-11 first responders suddenly developing lung disease. JoAnn’s husband was  BC Dennis A. Cross, FDNY Battalion 57, Brooklyn N.Y. He was a dedicated firefighter, loving husband and father who lost his life trying to save others lives on 9-11.  JoAnn wanted to do something to honor and remember the man that was so full of life and loved by so many. So, as a way to remember Dennis and carry on his legacy, she started the Dennis Cross 5KEagle Run and Family Fun Day in Islip Terrace. 

“Dennis was an avid runner, was community-minded and loved the teamwork that went along with being a firefighter,” says JoAnn. “The run and family fun day has always been for the community and has been a way for everyone to get together, have a good time and raise money for a good cause.  All the money we raise goes to the Dennis A. Cross Fund and is distributed to charities that were close to Dennis’ heart.  

“I know Dennis would want to support the work the Lung Association is doing. Firefighters take care of one another and we need to find a cure for lung disease.


“I am hoping the firefighters will support Dennis by climbing with the American Lung Association at their Fight For Air Climb this coming January.The work the Lung Association is doing is so important and I want to help secure all the support we can get.  I’ll be attending this year and handing out the award for the fastest firefighter, which will be named in Dennis’ honor.” 

Having grown the Eagle Run to nearly 6,000 participants since its beginning 10 years ago, all through word of mouth, Joann knows a little about what makes an event a success.

“It’s all about people helping one another,” says JoAnn.  “That’s what our event has been about and I know that’s what the Fight For Air Climb is about. So many people, many of whom are first responders, are fighting now just to breathe and they need our help.”

To learn more about the Lung Association’s 2012 Fight For Air Climb in NYC click here.  To learn more about the Firefighter Challenge, click here.  To support the Dennis Cross Eagle Team participating in the Fight For Air Climb, click here.