On Saturday, March 22, the American Lung Association in Wisconsin hosted the #1 ranked Fight for Air Climb in the nation. Over 2,700 participants raised $625,000, again beating out Lung Association climbs in more populous cities around the country. Climbers scaled the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee, climbing 47 floors, 1,034 steps.
“We are so proud of our climbers, volunteers and staff,” said Linda Witucki, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. “We surpassed last year’s record-breaking total by almost $70,000 and are thrilled that those proceeds can be put to work immediately in the fight against lung disease, funding research, education and advocacy.”
This year, more than 250 emergency responders (firefighters, police, SWAT teams) raced to the top wearing full gear – jackets, helmets, air packs and boots. Corporate teams, family teams and individuals climbed for friends and loved ones with lung disease. And new to this year’s event, children were allowed to take part in the climb, making it a unique opportunity for the whole family.
“We had families climbing together, ‘ultimate’ participants who climbed multiple times and climbers with asthma and COPD. We heard some incredible stories of hope and courage, as many were climbing in honor or in memory of someone who has been impacted by lung disease.” said Witucki.
Top Finishers Include:
Top Male Overall
Sal Impellitteri, Oak Creek, WI 5:39
Top Female Overall
Becca Clifford, Hartford, WI 6:52
Top Ultimate Climbers (Seven Climbs in ONE hour)
Jason Larson, Golden Valley, MN – 51:51
Holly La Vesser, New Berlin – 54:19
Top Firefighters/Law Enforcement – Individuals
1. Joe Gapinksi, West Allis FD 7:27
2. Joel Johnsrud, Sheboygan FD 8:06
3. Efrem Capetillo, Sheboygan FD 8:30
4. Tyler Schmitt, Sheboygan FD 8:35
5. Jesse Schwark, West Allis FD 9:00
Top Firefighters/Law Enforcement– Teams
1. West Allis Fire Department 8:47
2. Sheboygan FD 8:53
3. Manitowoc FD 11:10
4. SWAT Climb 14 (Milwaukee) 11:27
5. Oak Creek Local 1848 Fire Explorers 11:39
But speed wasn’t the only thing that counted. Fundraising is also a competitive sport.
Top Five fundraising teams:
1. Baker Tilly Milwaukee -- $21,695
2. Northwestern Mutual Life -- $13,702
3. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield -- $12,501
4. Godfrey & Kahn -- $11,020
5. Climbing Cahlamers -- $8,579
Top five individual fundraisers were:
1. Donna Scaffidi (Milwaukee) -- $7,675
2. Chris Cahlamer (New Berlin) -- $5,907
3. Jerry Medinger (Waukesha) -- $5,734
4. Jon Skavlem (Franklin) -- $2,595
5. Gina Maniscalco (Pewaukee) -- $2,410
Top Five Firefighter/Law Enforcement -- Teams:
1. Lauderdale/LaGrange FD -- $7,311
2. Eagle Fire Department -- $5,780
3. Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute -- $4,326
4. Milwaukee Police Department -- $4,290
5. Climb 4 Captain Larson (Kenosha FD -- $4248
Top Five Firefighter/Law Enforcement -- Individuals:
1. Chuck Roberts, Eagle FD -- $2,385
2. Eric Taylor, Lauderdale/LaGrange FD - $2,021
3. Jeff Markham, Lauderdale/LaGrange FD -- $850
4. James Tayler, Lauderdale/LaGrange FD -- $845
5. Jacob Johnsrud, Manitowoc FD -- $750
The American Lung Association thanks all of its sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield; Venue Sponsor, U.S. Bank Center; Media Sponsor, Today’s TMJ4; Godfrey and Kahn, S.C. and Froedtert/Medical College of Wisconsin.
Proceeds benefit the American Lung Association in Wisconsin, fighting lung disease through research, education and advocacy. The Lung Association funds lung cancer research with some of the country’s top researchers, provides services and education for those who suffer from lung disease, advocates for healthy air and provides smoking cessation services.
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