One Thousand Community Members Stair Climb Suburbs’ Tallest Tower
(February 16, 2015)
Firefighters, police officers, elite climbers, corporate teams and families took to Oakbrook Terrace Tower on Sunday, February 8th as part of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago’s 2015 Fight for Air Climb. The event not only gave them an opportunity to challenge themselves physically, but to also raise awareness and funding to improve lung health and research.
The day began with elite climbers challenging themselves in the Power Hour, where they climb the 680 steps and 31 floors as many times as possible in one hour. Then climbers of all ages, from five-years-old to 76-years young, packed the suburbs’ tallest building with purpose.
North Riverside Fireman Rich Gray climbed with several other first responders from his firehouse in honor of his father, a lung transplant survivor. All first responders climbed in their 70 pound full fire turnout gear. Gray and his firehouse team were among 19 firehouse and police department teams competing for the coveted traveling Firehouse Fight for Air Trophy and Police Department Fight for Air Trophy.
In the end, the Elmhurst Fire Department won the challenge for the second consecutive year; and the Addison Police Department broke the Elmhurst Police Department’s three-year streak and took the Trophy for the first time since 2011. In all, more than 100 firefighters and police officers participated.
Other competitive elements included the ‘Extreme Climb,’ during which participants climbed the tower twice and combine both times; and the ‘Ultimate Climb’ allowed them to climb the tower three times and combine times.
The Fight for Air Climb is a unique fundraising event for the Lung Association. Climbers help improve the lives of patients across the country and locally in Illinois. Ninety cents of every dollar raised goes directly to education, research and advocacy. As of this writing, more than $188,000 has been raised, but donations are still being counted. Readers can still support the Climb and Lung Association by calling 312-781-1100.
Elite climber, Dan Walters, celebrates with his mother and father, from Lyle (top left); Michelle Bang climbed with Team Dotturson from Aurora (top right); Completely Crazy, a Rocky Horror Picture Show cast performing in Woodridge, climbed in full costume (bottom left); Firefighter Tony Sally, with the Lombard Fire Department, climbed in full fire turnout gear (bottom right).