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Local firemen getting in shape for climb for a cure

Area firemen are getting in shape for the climb of their life, March 11, in Seattle.

Local firefighters from the Sunnyside Fire Department and Yakima County Fire District #5 will compete at this year's annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb this spring at the Columbia Center tower in Seattle.

At 788 feet of vertical elevation, the Columbia Center (formerly Bank of America Tower) in downtown Seattle stands as the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. It takes 69 flights of stairs and 1,311 steps to reach the highly acclaimed observation deck overlooking the city. The Scott Firefighter Stair Climb supports the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, raising money through sponsorships, individual and department fundraising and entry fees. In 2011, the event featured more than 1,500 firefighters from 281 different departments and brought in a record $930,000 for blood and cancer research and patient services.

Each year, participating teams and individuals rally together, training for the climb and to raise money for the cause.

Andy Babcock, A.J. AbHold, KC Frazier, Kevin Frazier, Greg Klutts and Kalvin Tilly will be representing YCFD5 at the climb. Sunnyside firemen participating in the event include Ryan Savage, Antonio Castillo, Erubiel Clara, William Harris, George Saenz and James Stanton.

A few local county firemen are preparing for the event by climbing a hill in Union Gap, which is equal in elevation to the Seattle climb, nearly on a daily basis.

"It's a good opportunity to stay in shape, and it's for a good cause," said YCFD5 team captain Andy Babcock.

He says the county team is also planning on printing t-shirts to raise additional funds.

To donate to either team visit: www.llswa.org, click "donate" and search for Yakima County Fire District #5 or the Sunnyside Fire Department.

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