Also memorialized in the climb are the hundreds of first responders who tragically continue to die from 9/11 related illnesses. While all participants climb in full gear, the most important item they carry to the top is an honor tag with the name of a 9/11 first responder who was killed on the day of or who died due to a 9/11 related illness.
In addition, each year, climb organizers choose a 9/11 related beneficiary and mount a fundraising campaign for that organization. Climbers are not required but are encouraged to fundraise. Since 2015 the climb has raised over $250,000 for a variety of organizations benefitting firefighters, police officers, EMT’s and military personnel affected by 9/11.
On Saturday, the 5th Annual New York City Memorial Stair Climb saw over 400 first responders ascend the 80 floors of 3 World Trade Center. Each climber honored one of the 23 NYPD, 37 PAPD and 343 FDNY killed on September 11th, 2001. The climb also memorializes fallen first responders and military personnel worldwide.
The New York City Memorial Stair Climb designates a beneficiary every year and mounts a fundraising campaign for that organization. The 2019 climb is proud to support A Soldier’s Journey Home, which is a group of volunteers primarily comprised of current and retired firefighters and retired veterans from across 14 states. Over the past 14 years, they have worked on a variety of disaster relief construction projects and now focus their charitable efforts toward severely injured veterans.
The climb also taps into firefighters’ competitive spirit. Climbers have the option to enter as a racer and be timed against other climbers as an individual or part of a team. Each firefighter will be wearing their full protective firefighting gear as they climb.
Apopka Fire Chief Chuck Carnesale and a team of 10 Apopka firefighters traveled to New York City this weekend for the event, and although they received a donation from the Apopka Rotary Club, paid their own way to be there.