On Feb. 4, the Lung Association held its second Steeltown Stair Climb to raise money for lung research. Doubling in size since last year, over 140 people participated in the 26-storey climb at Stelco Tower, going up a total of 533 steps.
This year’s event raised over $20-thousand for lung research, “and the biggest fundraisers are the pre-service college kids, I have someone who has raised $1,495,” said Sandy Lee, the volunteer and fund development coordinator.
Participants included firefighters, Hamilton Ti-Cat players and anyone else who wanted to raise money for a good cause.
“The Ti-Cats team up with a lot of different charities,” said Craig Butler, defensive back for the Ti-Cats. “It’s something for the organization to be a part of and when it’s promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, that’s also going to a good cause. It’s something I want to be a part of as well as the Ti-Cats.”
After climbers tackled all 533 steps, making it to the top was not only a challenge, it meant a lot more than just a few minutes of exercise.
“My wife’s cousin is a firefighter and she’s doing it, so we sponsored her and I saw what it was so I thought (to myself), ‘I run outside so let me give it a shot,’” said climber Tony Di Bennedetto. “It’s a good cause, (we) made some more donations and it’s a nice challenge.”
And the money will go to more than just basic science, it could be used to have a payoff closer to home.
“Not only do we support lung research, which is done right here at Firestone Institute or at McMaster, but we also instituted a couple of brand-new programs,” said Lee.
These two new programs are Mad Science for kids and Play for All. Mad Science will go from school to school informing students about the dangers of smoking and promoting healthy life choices. Through cool science experiments, students will not only learn something new but will get to make something they could take home with them.
“And then we’ve got a Play for All program that we’re introducing and training people at places like boys and girls clubs where kids can go after school,” said Lee. “It’s all about activity, healthy lungs and breathing.”