Raymond James Team to Climb 1,000 Stairs in Namesake Stadium for COVID-19 Relief

Leading financial services company to support Lung Association’s first outdoor Fight For Air Climb

On April 18, a team from Raymond James will climb the stairs of Raymond James Stadium for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. The team will climb approximately 1,000 steps to raise awareness for lung cancer and lung disease, and funds for the organization’s COVID-19 Action Initiative. 

Chris Chiodo, AML & Financial Crimes Analyst for Raymond James, first discovered the Fight For Air Climb in the Fall of 2018. Chiodo is an exercise and sports enthusiast and while biking around Tampa when he saw a small group of people coming out of the stairwells of the Bank of America Tower. He stopped and asked the group what they were training for. Their response was they were practicing for the Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. 

He was interested in competing in a new and different kind of fitness challenge, so he joined the group on Saturday mornings to practice climbing the tower stairs. After several weeks of preparation, he competed in the 2019 Fight For Air Climb Tampa in the stairwells of the Bank of America Tower, finishing 69th overall with a time of 9 minutes and 6 seconds.

“At first, I didn’t really know what to expect about the event and I was a bit unprepared. Once I started training, I realized it was more difficult than I thought. I found the challenge of climbing the stairs fun and each week I slowly improved my ascent time which gave me the motivation I needed to stick with it,” said Chiodo. “While training for the event, I lost 30-40 pounds. For me, it was quite challenging, and you need to take the time to build yourself up, but anyone can do it.”

This year, the Fight For Air Climb has moved outdoors to Raymond James Stadium for the safety of participants, staff and volunteers. Since the stadium bears the company name, and the mission of the Lung Association is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, he proposed the event to the firm’s giving, fundraising and volunteerism program – Raymond James Cares – and started a team.

“My goal is to recruit 5-10 of my associates, raise funds for charity, and slowly build awareness for future events. There is already some awareness about the event, but I want to continue to promote it through the Raymond James Cares program,” he said. “To help the team prepare, I plan to host bi-weekly morning trainings at the Tampa Convention Center.”

Along with the fitness challenge, Chiodo is personally invested in the mission of the Lung Association. 

“My grandfather died of lung cancer, so that is my personal connection to the cause,” he said. “Also, this year is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I often think about the bravery of the emergency fire and rescue teams running up into those buildings to save people’s lives. If they can do it in full gear, then I can do it. That is part of my motivation.”

Money raised at the Fight For Air Climb will fund the Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, as well as support the organization’s COVID-19 Action Initiative. The COVID-19 Action Initiative is a $25 million investment to address COVID-19 and protect against future respiratory virus pandemics. The initiative works with public and private entities to increase research collaboration and develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies.

The Fight For Air Climb takes place on April 18 at Raymond James Stadium. Registration is $35 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. For more information, and to register, visit FightForAirClimb.org/Tampa

Your safety is always our number one priority. We are continually monitoring local conditions that might affect your Climb. Check your local Climb website for the most up-to-date information.

About Raymond James Financial, Inc. 
Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF) is a leading diversified financial services company providing private client group, capital markets, asset management, banking and other services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. The company has approximately 8,200 financial advisors. Total client assets are $1.02 trillion. Public since 1983, the firm is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RJF. Additional information is available at RaymondJames.com.

About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
 

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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