When the Chanhassen Fire Department started participating in the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb in 2011, the station’s fitness coordinator John Williams thought it would be a great way to raise money for a good cause while helping build camaraderie and working towards fitness goals.
He had no idea he was about to start a battle.
The team didn’t raise the most money that first year, but they did raise enough to get on a fellow competitor’s radar: The Golden Valley Fire Department. Words were exchanged, a challenge was thrown down and suddenly the two fire stations were in a heated competition: The team that raised less money had to serve pie to the winning fire department. “How it became pie? I’m still wondering that myself,” Williams says.
In 2012, Golden Valley raised $10 more than Chanhassen, and last year Chanhassen raised the most money. This year, Williams hopes the Chanhassen team will win not only the fundraising title, but also the Fastest Department Award. That’s no easy feat, considering that participants will be climbing 31 flights of stairs while wearing their full fire fighting gear. “You’d be surprised how tough it gets carrying that weight,” Williams says. “The burn in your lungs is what you really feel.”
But no matter which fire department comes out the victor, the real winner of this rivalry is the American Lung Association, an organization dedicated to promoting lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.
Help the Chanhassen Fire Department win the pie—and defend its fundraising title— at The American Lung Association’s 2014 Fight for Air Climb on February 22 in Minneapolis by donating to the team.