The American Lung Association

They call it the “Vertical Mile.”

Photo cred: American Lung Association

The American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb challenges it’s participants to climb three consecutive stairwells (totaling 66 flights) in buildings throughout downtown Des Moines. “Participants can choose to climb one, two or all three buildings,” says Renee Searle, Special Events Coordinator for the American Lung Association. “They can do so as an individual climber or with a team.”

On March 16th, 2014 Iowa’s Fight for Air ‘climbers’ will conquer the stairwells of three separate downtown venues: the Downtown Des Moines Marriott (32 flights), the Hub Tower (18 flights), and EMC Insurance Companies (16 flights). “The climbers only take the elevator to go back down the steps and to the skywalks,” says Searle. For many, the skywalks in-between each building are a nice, horizontal break during the climb.

“Thanks to VolunteerLocal we are reaching more potential volunteers and sharing our mission with more people than we could have done on our own!” – Renee Searle, Special Events Coordinator, the American Lung Association

Photo cred: American Lung Association

Last year’s Fight for Air Climb raised over $200,000. These funds are channeled into education, advocacy work, and research for lung disease – a cause that, for many, is more than worthy of this breathtaking feat of vertical prowess. Whether it’s a group of local firefighters who climb the steps wearing all their gear (over 70lbs of equipment), or competitive teams from local gyms completing the climb as a fitness challenge (amen!) – 90% of every dollar they raise goes back to the mission. Pretty impressive stuff.


You might think that coordinating volunteers for an event this large would be an organizational conquest akin to that of climbing 66 flights of stairs. With VolunteerLocal, however, Searle has all the tools she needs to dominate her volunteer recruitment and coordination process.

Photo cred: American Lung Association
Photo cred: American Lung Association

“VolunteerLocal has provided us with a great way to stretch our arms and reach volunteers. It is very user-friendly, easy to set up events and provide all of the details potential volunteers need to know.” Searle began using VolunteerLocal in September. She explains, “I knew right then we would be back for all future events to come.”

Sign up to volunteer for this spring’s Fight for Air Climb in Des Moines!

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