Firefighters take on ‘Air Climb’
LOVELL — In a couple of months, Steve and Evan Armington will race up 82 flights of stairs so others can breathe easier.
The Armingtons live in Lovell, Maine, a 3.5-hour drive from One Boston Place, where the American Lung Association’s Boston Fight For Air Climb presented by Boston Private will take place on Feb. 4, 2017.
Despite the distance, the father-son duo decided to take on the challenge as representatives from the Lovell Volunteer Fire Department, which they both serve. Motivated by competition, community and their Aunt Jennifer, who is currently battling lung cancer, the team has become the event’s first place fundraiser.
Evan, Steve’s 20-year-old son and fellow firefighter and climber, said, “We love these types of challenges, but we were also really inspired by our Aunt Jennifer, who is currently fighting lung cancer. We want her to know that she isn’t fighting alone — and that we are going to help the Lung Association end lung cancer for good.”
Steve’s Aunt, Jennifer Blood, is also a well-known member of the Lovell community.
The team — consisting of Steve, Evan and their Assistant Chief, Mark Moulton — also gets support from fundraiser and coach, Beth Armington, Steve’s wife.
As owner of the local ice cream shop, “The Homestead Scoop,” — now turned team headquarters — Beth has channeled support from all over the community raising nearly $2,000 with months of work still to go.
On days away from the ice cream shop, Beth has been accompanying Steve on regular climbs of Sabattus Mountain. He makes the 1.4-mile trek in full turn out gear, weighing nearly 50 pounds, to prepare for the Firefighter Challenge, as she climbs alongside him, urging him forward.
“There is no better voice for the ‘Fight for Air’ than the brave men and women that serve our fire departments,” said Jeff Seyler, CEO and president of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “We are especially grateful to the Armingtons and their entire Maine community for the support they’ve shown us. All of our climbers are helping us to get one step closer to a world free of lung disease and lung cancer”
“We were motivated by our fellow firefighters and we are extremely grateful to our community, which has been incredibly supportive,” Steve said. “When we are on a call, we experience the ‘Fight for Air’ first hand. This is a great opportunity to show others what daily life is like for millions with lung disease, and why it’s so important to support the Lung Association in all they do to protect our lung health.”
The Boston Fight For Air Climb presented by Boston Private is one a series of signature fundraising events of the American Lung Association, held in prominent skyscrapers across the country.
The Boston Fight for Air Climb will take place on Feb. 4, 2017 at One Boston Place, where participants will race up 82 flights of stairs.
The event also includes a Firefighter Challenge, where members of over 100 fire departments, including the Lovell Volunteer Fire Department Team, will race up the stairs in full firefighting gear, weighing nearly 50 pounds.
The Boston Climb aims to raise $500,000 for the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.
The Lovell Fire Department Team will continue to train and fundraise through the Feb. 4 event. The public can make a donation to support the Lovell team at: http://action.lung.org/goto/LVFD