Virtual fundraiser challenges participants to raise heart rate and funds for lung research in SWFL

Annual fundraiser for lung research goes virtual in SWFL
Posted at 9:27 AM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 09:27:33-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The American Lung Association's 10th annual Fight for Air Climb fundraiser is going virtual in Southwest Florida this week.

The event is normally 31 flights of stairs and 535 steps inside a Fort Myers high rise.

However, due to COVID-19, the fundraiser is now virtual to keep people safe.

Starting May 1, the climbers are challenged to get creative. They have until May 10 to raise their heart rate and raise funds to support lung research.

“People have been amazing in finding fun things to do. They’re almost tougher on themselves then what we would have been. Some people are doing some pretty extreme things but it’s been fun to watch and we’ve been really proud of how people are adapting," said Kurt Goerke, with the local American Lung Association.

He says one climber is running the equivalent on the Edison Bridge, and another team of climbers are planning a relay race.

"The relay will have a 6-foot long baton so we can keep our social distance when we pass off," said Ellen Kerwick, participating for her first year.

Her team, Bucky's Carefree Climbers, has planned a fun and safe relay race inside their lifestyle community.

They're team goal was to raise $1,000 in their friend's honor. Instead, they've already raised more than $3,000.

“It’s great. This is a really giving community to begin with so to be able to do it for Bucky and for others feels great," said Kerwick.

American Lung Association organizers say it's not too late to help by donating to a competing climber.

For details on the fundraiser and where to donate, click here.

To see event updates and local climbers, visit their Fort Myers Facebook page in the post attached below.

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