Saturday, approximately 600 people took to the stairs at the Main Place Tower to climb for a good cause. The American Lung Association held its Fight for Air Climb, where participants took on 24 floors and 470 stairs while honoring those affected by lung disease.
“It’s a way to give back to the community. It’s a great organization; they help a lot of people,” said Fran Warthing of Diamond Cutters of Western New York. “Just from watching over the past couple of years we wanted to participate in it.”
People were able to climb alone or alongside friends and family. Several members of the Buffalo Fire Department did the stairs while wearing their gear.
“This year we had over 25 Buffalo firefighters do it, so it’s good to increase the comradery, get everyone together,” said Buffalo Fire Department Lieutenant Ramon Suarez J.R. “We had a lot of new people recently that got onto the department doing it as well, so it’s nice to get those younger faces and fresh bodies doing it for a good cause, and like I said, it keeps everyone together.”
Like many other participants, Suarez had a personal stake in the climb.
“I lost my grandfather not too long ago; he had COPD,” he said. “The Fight for Air Climb, they’re looking for a way to fight some of these diseases.”
Organizers say this year’s climb saw the largest number of participants since the event started. According to the American Lung Association, over the last several years the Fight for Air Climb has raised more than 53 million dollars.