University of Calgary

Stairways to United Way heaven

UToday HomeDecember 17, 2012

By Rhonda Greenaway

Along with plenty of sweat and a few sore knees, a lot of heart went into raising $43,660 during the second annual University of Calgary United Way Stair Climb.

A total of 22 teams with 110 participating climbers ascended more than 600,000 stairs — the equivalent of climbing the Calgary Tower’s 800-step staircase 750 times — in the biggest single United Way fundraiser on campus. This year’s efforts led to an increase in participating teams and funds raised compared to last year’s totals.

Taking top honours for most stairs climbed was the Frisky Mountaineering Devils from Facilities Management and Development, who ascended a total of 116,040 stairs. The top individual climber was Kyla Van Leeuwen from the Hot Cross Bunz team, who climbed an amazing 36,701 stairs. Coming in second was Mike Chemieleski from the Frisky Mountaineering Devils team, who climbed 32,136 stairs.

The second place team was Hot Cross Bunz — comprised of students from the Faculty of Education — at 103,296 total stairs, while third place honours went to the Sorority Steppers at 50,483 total stairs. Rounding out the top individual climbers was Matt Buckholz from the Department of History at 17,617 stairs.

The Executive Leadership Team brought in more than $34,000 — the highest total of pledges.

“Congratulations to everyone who stepped up for this challenge,” says Dennis Sumara, dean of the Faculty of Education and United Way campaign co-chair. “The climbs are not only fun for the participating teams, they are a terrific opportunity to both raise funds for the United Way and strengthen ties on and off campus.”

Bob Ellard, vice-president of Facilities Management and Development and campaign co-chair, says this fundraiser is proof of the University of Calgary’s outstanding community spirit. “Climbing thousands of stairs takes a lot of commitment and perseverance,” says Ellard. “This is really putting your best foot forward for the United Way.”

“This year’s stair climb challenge raised an outstanding amount of money for the United Way,” says Alexis Berezan, United Way campaign lead for the university. “We are well on our way to meeting our campaign goal of $350,000, thanks to events like this and of course to individual donations. And it’s not too late to donate. We’re still accepting donations until December 31.”

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