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From Your Local Lung Association

Fight For Air Climb Denver brings families, friends, co-workers together to climb

The Anthem Fight For Air Climb (FFAC) in Denver continues to be one of the largest and longest tenured American Lung Association climbs in the nation. Hosted at the Republic Plaza building, the tallest building in the Mountain West, and scaling 56 floors and 1,098 steps, the event offers participants an intense challenge at a high altitude. The fastest recorded climber finished the event in 6 minutes, 10 seconds, although the average climber completes the climb in approximately 15-20 minutes. The 2016 Climb was held Feb. 22.

In 2014 the Anthem FFAC created the Ultimate Climb, allowing climbers to ascend the building as many times as they can in one hour. This new opportunity has encouraged returning climbers to try something new and reached a new audience of athletes looking for an exciting challenge. In 2016, for the first time since its inception, the Ultimate climb sold out at 100 participants. To date, the most completed climbs by an ultimate climber was six.

Over the past several years the Anthem Fight For Air Climb continues to attract 1,300-1,800 climbers annually and raises $325,000-$400,000 to benefit the programs of the American Lung Association. This is only possibly due to dedicated volunteer committee members, exceptional fundraising participants and a wonderful relationship with the building management, Brookfield Properties.

Each participant has their own story to share as to why they are participating in the climb. These include a personal battle with lung disease, honoring a family or friend with lung disease, an anniversary of quitting smoking and fitness goals. Participants are required to raise $100 to enter the stairwell, but many exceed this minimum with the fundraising average at nearly $190. The top fundraiser in 2016 was Stacy Ohlsson. Stacy raised $6,065 through 48 donors and one main strategy: “Ask everyone you know.” Stacy mission’s is personal, and as someone living with lung disease, she takes her role as a fundraiser seriously. She knows that the dollars she is raising could mean extending her life through research and advocacy efforts.

Teams play a key role in the event, bringing comradery, spirit and energy. Many teams rally around their team mission by creating personalized T-Shirts and wearing matching accessories. Team Stepping Up continues to be a strong friends and family fundraising force, raising $9,700 in 2016 alone. Meanwhile, Chuck’s Crew started participating in 2008 after their father, Chuck, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, and over the years the team has raised more than $41,000. Our title sponsor, Anthem, raised nearly $9,400 with 54 dedicated team members in 2016. Thank you to all of our wonderful teams!

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