Firefighters raise more than $1.25million in Sky Tower Stair Challenge

Firefighters from across the country joined forces to raise more than $1.25 million for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand for the 14th Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge.

Nearly 1000 firefighters from communities around New Zealand with participants aged 17 to 76 years climbed the 1,103 steps of the Sky Tower wearing 25 kilograms of gear.

The annual event for SKYCITY’s charity partner reached its $1 million fundraising target three days ahead of the event held on Saturday 19 May. Many raised far more than the recommended $2,500 with the top individual in Squad 20 (comprising corporate supporters)reaching more than $30,000 and teams topping $48,000.

This year’s competition was strong in those wanting to climb the 51 flights of stairs in the quickest times, with the fastest ascending in just over 8 minutes.

SKYCITY Auckland first hosted the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge in 2004, and the event has gone from strength to strength every year.

“We’re so proud to have Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand as a charity partner and to have an icon like the Sky Tower that has enabled this incredibly successful fundraising event that has raised so much to support families across New Zealand,” says Brad Burnett, General Manager SKYCITY Hotels and Sky Tower.

As a major sponsor, a small group of SKYCITY staff members and director Murray Jordan participated in a special team of non-firefighters – Squad 20 – and for one participant the opportunity was particularly special. Lene Feagaiga was selected following a staff competition and dedicated his climb and fundraising to his niece who from age three battled courageously with Leukaemia for six years. Lene raised $3,860 and, after rigorous training, completed the challenge in 13.56min, just a few minutes shy of his 10 minute goal.

SKYCITY Chief Financial Officer Rob Hamilton also took part in Squad 20 and achieved a very fast time of 10.11 minutes, two minutes behind the fastest climber, ranking him seventh overall.

Squad 20

SKYCITY Auckland is proud to have Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand as a charity partner and to have worked together to raise more than $9.75million through three annual events: the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge, Step Up Sky Tower Stair Challenge and SKYCITY Dining for a Difference.

Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand is the national charity dedicated to supporting patients and their families living with blood cancers and related blood conditions. Every day, 6 New Zealanders are diagnosed with a blood cancer.

The charity does not receive government funding and the dollars raised from the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge help fund its core services such as patient support, support and funding for research and awareness and advocacy.

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