Team “One Step at a Time” Ready to Climb One Boston Place This Saturday
11th Annual Fight for Air Climb: Boston Presented by Boston Private
(February 4, 2016) -
Team One Step at a Time is gearing up to climb One Boston Place at the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb: Boston Presented by Boston Private this coming Saturday, February 6. The team, which is captained by YMCA instructor Mark Hank of Reading Massachusetts, is comprised of 30 members most of whom work out at one of three Boston area YMCA’s. While not all the members of team know each other, they all share a love for fitness and a devotion to the American Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.
“When you start talking to people, you realize that just about everyone has been touched by lung disease,” says Mark Hank, the team’s captain. “My grandfather had emphysema and a close family member now has COPD. Asthma, it seems, is just about everywhere. I’ve been participating in this event for five years now and it’s really become like a ‘belief family.’ All of us come together to fight lung disease and help the American Lung Association raise needed funds for more research.”
Mark recruits many of his team members at the classes he teaches at the YMCA, which include TRX suspension classes, interval training and boot camps. He says that many of the people who take his classes are always looking for a new challenge and the Fight For Air Climb, which involves climbing 789 stairs, certainly fits the bill. When Mark asked Steve Nixon, one of his class participants, if he would be interested in joining his team to climb to support the American Lung Association three years ago, Steve described it as a ”how did you know?” moment.
“At the time, my brother, Nick, who lived in Malvern, Pennsylvania was battling lung cancer and, to me, participating in this climb and raising funds to support lung cancer research was a way that I could help support him from a distance,” said Nixon who lives in Wakefield, Massachusetts. “I remember how excited my brother was that my son Conor and I were doing this. Last year’s climb was a very emotional climb for me because it was the first year my brother had been gone. He lost his battle in March, 2014; at age 69. Continuing to participate in the Climb is a way to pay tribute to my brother and, hopefully, help find better treatments for others. Many of my friends continue to support me by making contributions in his memory and that means a lot.”
In addition to being one of the largest teams in terms of members, the One Step at a Time Team is also one of the top teams in terms of fundraising. With less than a week before the event, the team has already raised more than $8,361 of their $8,500 goal. To boost their individual fundraising efforts, members of the team and some of their supporters gathered at Tremezzo Ristorante in Wilmington on February 3 for a team fundraiser where a portion of the restaurant’s evening proceeds will benefit the team. The team also held raffles at the event that brought in more than $750.
“The fundraiser is a chance for all of us to spend some time together, get to know one another better and raise some additional money for our team before the day of the event,” said Hank. The Lung Association hopes to raise $550,000 at the Boston event to support its mission of improving lung health and preventing lung disease. To find out more about the Fight for Air Climb: Race Up Boston Place presented by Boston Private go to fightforairclimb.org. To support the One Step at a Time Team, visit http://go.lungne.org/onestepatatime2015.