By Paul Gorski
So, what is the Fight For Air Climb and why should I participate?
Those were the first two questions I asked five years ago when Explore Buffalo volunteers were invited to join the Climb. When I found out that it involves climbing 800 steps to the top of the tallest building in Buffalo and is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association, I said … “I can do that.” And much to my surprise (I'm no spring chicken) I did it! And I have done so every year since.
The Fight for Air Climb is a clever twist on your typical 5K; it’s actually a vertical race! In Buffalo on Saturday, March 10th it’s a Climb to the top of Seneca One Tower. We'll climb 800 stairs in an inside stairwell (where it’s warm). If you think that sounds like an impossible feat, consider this: area firefighters will be climbing in an adjacent stairwell…. in FULL GEAR! This adds more than 60 pounds of weight as they trudge up those 800 stairs. Now that’s a challenge!
When you reach the top (and you will!), enjoy refreshments while you soak in the amazing bird’s eye views of Buffalo…. Be sure to bring your camera/phone! Explore Buffalo volunteers will be up on the 37th floor to help you identify all of the amazing local landmarks that you can see from way up there. The view alone is worth the Climb.
But wait, there's more! Enjoy a free massage compliments of the New York Institute of Massage before and/or after your climb. There will be a DJ rocking the vast lobby of the Tower and a slew of tables offering information about area programs and organizations that you might not know about.
But remember, the Fight For Air Climb is actually an important way to raise funds and awareness for the American Lung Association’s mission: to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. This is the organization that is striving to defeat lung cancer and address lung diseases, to improve the quality of the air we breathe, to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.
The Buffalo Climb has been supporting programs that promote lung health in the Buffalo area for seven years and has raised nearly $1 million for these efforts in our community. The goal of this year’s Climb is to raise $186,000. How? By finding at least 700 intrepid souls to take the challenge. Will you number among them?
You can have some fun and form a team with friends, family or colleagues, or you can go it alone. Register here. Then ask friends, family, and co-workers to sponsor you. There’s a great, user-friendly website where you can upload your contacts, making it easy to electronically ask folks to support you, or use paper pledge sheets if you prefer to ask for support in person. Climbers are asked to raise a minimum of $100, but the sky’s the limit. And there are some cool prizes for top fundraisers.
After the Climb, the awesome views, a relaxing massage, and some great tunes and community in the Lobby, you are also invited walk over to the Pearl Street Brewery for an After Party! There will be some well-earned complimentary food, a cash bar, and lots of applause those who climbed the fastest in various age groups and overall, and for those who raised the most funds for the Lung Association.
So, if you want to have some fun, lose a pound or two and support a worthy cause, sign-up individually or gather some friends or co-workers to form a team (or join ours)! The sooner you register, the more time you will have to raise those dollars. And if you simply cannot do the stairs, consider volunteering and cheering!
I hope to see you there, on the stairs!