Milwaukee’s Fight for Air Climb Breaks Another Record

Nation’s Top Climb Raises $625,000 – First and Only Lung Association Climb to Surpass $600,000!

(April 8, 2014)

   WI Climb - 2014   

On Saturday, March 22, the American Lung Association in Wisconsin hosted the #1 ranked Fight for Air Climb in the nation. Over 2,700 participants raised $625,000, again beating out Lung Association climbs in more populous cities around the country. Climbers scaled the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee, climbing 47 floors, 1,034 steps.

“We are so proud of our climbers, volunteers and staff,” said Linda Witucki, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. “We surpassed last year’s record-breaking total by almost $70,000 and are thrilled that those proceeds can be put to work immediately in the fight against lung disease, funding research, education and advocacy.”

This year, more than 250 emergency responders (firefighters, police, SWAT teams) raced to the top wearing full gear – jackets, helmets, air packs and boots. Corporate teams, family teams and individuals climbed for friends and loved ones with lung disease. And new to this year’s event, children were allowed to take part in the climb, making it a unique opportunity for the whole family.

“We had families climbing together, ‘ultimate’ participants who climbed multiple times and climbers with asthma and COPD. We heard some incredible stories of hope and courage, as many were climbing in honor or in memory of someone who has been impacted by lung disease.” said Witucki.

Top Finishers Include: 

Top Male Overall 

Sal Impellitteri  Oak Creek, WI              5:39

Top Female Overall

Becca Clifford  Hartford, WI              6:52

Top Ultimate Climbers (Seven Climbs in ONE hour)

Jason Larson  Golden Valley, MN              51:51 (Total Time)
Holly La Vesser New Berlin, WI               54:19 (Total Time)

Top Firefighters/Law Enforcement – Individuals

Joe Gapinski  West Allis Fire Department              7:27
Joel Johnsrud  Sheboygan Fire Department               8:06 
Efrem Capetillo  Sheboygan Fire Department               8:30 
Tyler Schmitt  Sheboygan Fire Department               8:35 
Jesse Schwark West Allis Fire Department              9:00

Top Firefighters/Law Enforcement– Teams

West Allis Fire Department                8:47 
Sheboygan Fire Department                 8:53
Manitowoc Fire Department                  11:10
SWAT Climb 14 (Milwaukee)                 11:27
Oak Creek Local 1848 Fire Explorers                11:39

But speed wasn’t the only thing that counted.  Fundraising is also a competitive sport.

Top Five fundraising teams:

Baker Tilly Milwaukee  $21,695
Northwestern Mutual Life  $13,702
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield  $12,501
Godfrey & Kahn  $11,020
Climbing Cahlamers $  8,579

Top five individual fundraisers were:

Donna Scaffidi  (Milwaukee) $7,675 
Chris Cahlamer   (New Berlin) $5,907 
Jerry Medinger  (Waukesha) $5,734 
Jon Skavlem  (Franklin)  $2,595 
Gina Maniscalco  (Pewaukee) $2,410

Top Five Firefighter/Law Enforcement -- Teams:

Lauderdale/LaGrange Fire Department  $7,311 
Eagle Fire Department  $5,780 
Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute  $4,326 
Milwaukee Police Department   $4,290 
Climb 4 Captain Larson (Kenosha Fire Department) $4,248

Top Five Firefighter/Law Enforcement -- Individuals:

Chuck Roberts, Eagle FD  $2,385 
Eric Taylor, Lauderdale/LaGrange FD  $2,021 
Jeff Markham, Lauderdale/LaGrange FD  $850 
James Tayler, Lauderdale/LaGrange FD  $845 
Jacob Johnsrud, Manitowoc FD $750

The American Lung Association thanks all of its sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield; Venue Sponsor, U.S. Bank Center; Media Sponsor, Today’s TMJ4; Godfrey and Kahn, S.C. and Froedtert/Medical College of Wisconsin.

Proceeds benefit the American Lung Association in Wisconsin, fighting lung disease through research, education and advocacy. The Lung Association funds lung cancer research with some of the country’s top researchers, provides services and education for those who suffer from lung disease, advocates for healthy air and provides smoking cessation services.