Milwaukee's Fight for Air Climb Still #1 in the Nation! | American Lung Association

Milwaukee's Fight for Air Climb Still #1 in the Nation!

(April 1, 2015)



  2015 FFAC Logo   

Brookfield, WI – On Saturday, March 21, the American Lung Association in Wisconsin hosted what continues to be the #1 ranked Fight for Air Climb in the nation, breaking even last year’s records for number of participants and fundraising. Over 3,100 Climbers – up from 2,700 in 2014 -- raised $710,000, again beating out Lung Association climbs in more populous cities around the country. This year’s total is an increase of $70,000 over last year.  

Anthem Blue Crosse and Blue Shield in Wisconsin served as Presenting Sponsor for the seventh consecutive year.  In addition to their sponsorship, their corporate team raised $15,847, as of the time of this publication.  

 “The building hasn’t gotten any taller, but the Fight for Air Climb continues to reach new heights,” said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “Our thanks to all who fundraised, volunteered and worked to make this year’s event the best yet. Plus, a special congratulations to the Sheboygan Fire Department, winners of the Anthem Firefighter Challenge. The Fight for Air Climb makes a positive, year-round difference in the fight against lung disease, and we’re already looking forward to the next one.”

The Anthem Firefighter Challenge continues to be a highlight of the event.  This year 300 emergency responders (firefighters, police and National Guard) raced up 1,034 steps wearing full gear – jackets, helmets, air packs and boots. Corporate teams, family teams and individuals climbed for friends and loved ones with lung disease.  This year’s youngest Climber was 6 years old; the oldest was 84.  

“It’s unbelievable.  It just gets better and better.  Every time we think we’ve peaked, we surpass our goals from the previous year, said Linda Witucki, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin.   We are so grateful to everyone – sponsors, volunteers and staff – for making this happen year after year.   “This year’s Climb was a success by any measure, but especially for anyone who struggles to breathe.  89 cents out of every dollar raised will go towards the important work of fighting lung disease.”

Top Finishers Include: 

Top Male Overall
Sal Impellitteri, Oak Creek -- 5:12
(Second year winner, beating his 2014 time by 27 seconds).

Top Female Overall
Liz Ruvalcaba, Saint Charles, IL -- 6:22 


Top Ultimate Climbers -- Seven Climbs in ONE hour

Liz Ruvalcaba, Saint Charles, IL -- 48:22


Six Climbs in ONE hour

Josh Duncan, Carpentersville, IL -- 44:12
Brett Edgerle, Kohler -- 54:32
Jason Larson, Golden Valley, MN -- 44:26
Jim Peelen, Milwaukee -- 54:35
Robert Liking, Saint Charles, IL - 46:29
Charlie Parrish, Delafield -- 57:08
Jeff Huizenga, Milwaukee -- 47:08
Sheryl Leonard-Schnec, Wauwatosa -- 49:36
Holly LaVesser, New Berlin -- 47:34
Nam Truong, Eden Prairie, MN-- 59:50
Chris LaVesser, New Berlin -- 49:18


Fastest Firefighters – Individuals

  1. Zeke Dombrowski, West Allis Fire Department – 7:37
  2. Joe Gapinski, West Allis Fire Department – 7:42
  3. Tyler Schmitt, Sheboygan Fire Department – 8:07
  4. Efrem Capetillo, Sheboygan Fire Department – 8:23
  5. Joel Johnsrud, Sheboygan Fire Department – 8:50


Fastest Firefighters – Teams

  1. Sheboygan Fire Department – 8:44
  2. West Allis Fire Department Team 1– 9:16
  3. Town of Burlington Fire Department – 11:15
  4. Manitowoc Fire Department – 11:41
  5. Waukesha Fire Department Team 1– 11:57


But speed wasn’t the only competition.  Prizes are also awarded for highest fundraising. 


Top Five Fundraisers – Individuals:

  1. Chris Cahlamer, New Berlin -- $7,675
  2. Chuck Roberts, Eagle -- $7,346
  3. Jerry Medinger, Waukesha -- $5,475
  4. Donna Scaffidi, Milwaukee -- $4,075
  5. Christy Engel, Franklin -- $3,215


Top Five Corporate Fundraisers –Teams:

  1. Baker Tilly Milwaukee -- $20,225
  2. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield -- $15,847
  3. Northwestern Mutual -- $15,265
  4. Milwaukee Electric Tool -- $8,695
  5. Team ASQ -- $5,572


Top Five Friends and Family Fundraisers -- Teams:

  1. Climbing Cahlamers -- $11,310
  2. Team Gary Brandt -- $9,190
  3. The JerryAirs -- $6,257
  4. Team Pelkey 2015 -- $5,510
  5. Team Anchor -- $3,254


  Lauderdale LaGrange 2015 
The Lauderdale/LaGrange Firefighter team once again captured the honors for highest fundraising total for firefighters/first responders.  

Top Five Firefighter/Law Enforcement Fundraisers -- Teams:

  1. Lauderdale/LaGrange Fire Department -- $10,990
  2. Milwaukee Police Department -- $8,831
  3. Eagle Fire Department -- $8,386
  4. Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute -- $5,935
  5. Mequon Fire Department -- $1,930


Top Five Firefighter/Law Enforcement Fundraisers -- Individuals:

  1. Chuck Roberts, Eagle Fire Department -- $7,346
  2. Roman Skurek, Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute Team 5  -- $2,100
  3. Payton Taylor, Lauderdale- LaGrange Fire Department-- $1,652.01 
  4. Jeff Markham, Lauderdale- LaGrange Fire Department--$1,600 
  5. Aaron Raap, Milwaukee Police Department--$1,342.00 


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; Badger Color Concentrates Inc., Baker Tilly, Coakley Brothers, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, Godfrey and Kahn, Pierce Manufacturing, Waste Management.

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. 

Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.


LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.