Wednesday, January 4, 2012


What's new for 2012?
Below are a few of the many additions to this year's Fight for Air Climb.  We hope this list will continue to grow as the event quickly approaches...

Taller Building
Last year, close to 300 participants climbed up 37 floors (722 steps) of The Gulf Tower.  This year, we are expecting over 500 climbers to conquer 45 floors, equaling 897 steps, of One Oxford Centre! (Located in downtown Pittsburgh - 301 Grant Street, Pgh, PA 15219) 

Later Start Time
Last year climbing began at 8:30AM.  This year climbing will begin at 9:00AM.  However, please arrive at least one hour before your start time to give ample time for check-in, stretching, gear check, etc.  Start time will be given out approximately one week before the event.

Facebook Page
Get all the latest event announcements, updates, and more at our new "Pittsburgh Fight for Air Climb" Facebook page.  CLICK HERE to LIKE it now!  We will be posting fundraising ideas, training tips, and much more!  It's also a great way to ask questions and get answers.  Search "Pittsburgh Fight for Air Climb" on Facebook and invite your friends!

Kick Off Event
Last year we held a Karaoke Saturday Night Event that helped raised an additional $500 in the fight against lung disease.  This year we will be holding a Happy Hour Event in February.  The official announcement and event details will be announced next week (see it on facebook first!). We hope to see you there!

Post Event Celebration
The Post Event Celebration was a new addition to the event last year.  Participants, family, and friends, were welcome to stick around after the event for complementary food, drinks, music, and more.  We will be holding the Post Event Celebration again this year! It will take place in the One Oxford Centre lobby.  We're always looking for in-kind donations so if you would like to donate food or beverages for the event and get some wonderful exposure for your restaurant or business, please contact Tiffany at

Friday, March 18, 2011

Climber Instructions

Climber Instructions


·        The STAIRS are to the left of the elevators, next to the Fifth Third Bank entrance.
·        We will be calling your Group letter to line up, starting with Group A.  You will be lining up over to the left, along the elevators.
·        Be on the lookout for announcements and signs calling your Group to line up.  We will be sending small groups outside to the start line at the bottom of the stair well. 
·        Water stations are on the 5th, 10th, 17th, 22nd, 29th, and 35th Floor.  Bottles of water at the top (37th floor)
·        Once you get to the top- turn to the left and take a walk around the observation deck.  Take a look at the amazing scenery & congratulate yourself, grab a bottle of water, and then move on to the elevators which will take you back downstairs.  From there you can go to the other set of elevators and go to the 8th floor for the Post-event Celebration.
·        It is important that we keep the flow of traffic moving from the Top of the Tower observation deck, so please move to the elevators in a timely way.
·        In the “viewing room” on the 8th floor, you can watch a live feed of the Finish Line and see your friends and team members as they finish their climb.
·        On the 8th floor you can pick up your t-shirt by turning in the raffle tag on the bottom corner of your climb bib.  You have to turn this in in order to receive your t-shirt.
·        On the 8th floor you can also enjoy complimentary snacks and food provided by numerous donors for all of our guests. 
·        Race results will be emailed by the timing company and will be posted on our website by Sunday morning.


·        Climb to the RIGHT, PASS on the LEFT
·        Emergency Medical  team is on site
·        Volunteers are stationed throughout the stair well and at the water stations and can contact the EMT’s if needed.
·        If you need to get out – and do not want to finish the climb you can get off at any one of the water station floors.  Volunteers will escort you to an elevator which will bring you back down.

Start Times/Frequently Asked Questions

Your approximate start times are posted on our Fight for Air Homepage or CLICK HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  Timeline of the Day
**These times are approximate times**  
8:05 AM - Opening Ceremonies
8:30 - 8:37 AM - Elite Climbers (Group A)
8:38 - 8:45 AM - Individual Climbers (Group B)
8:46 - 8:56 AM – Climb Teams (Group C)
8:57- 9:06 AM – Climb Teams (Group D)
9:07 – 9:14 AM – Climb Teams (Group E)
9:14 - 9:20 AM - First Responder Teams (Group F) 
10:30 AM - Awards Ceremony/Post Event Celebration (8th FLOOR)
            **Please note:  We cannot start the awards ceremony until everyone has crossed the finishline and the times are calculated.  Thank you for your patience as the timing company provides all the times.


There are a number of parking garages around the building.  We suggest that participants and their guests park in the The Mellon Square Parking garage.  It is one block away from the building, in front of the Omni Hotel.
Click here for more information and to find directions.  

Where are the restrooms?
            Take the elevators to the 8th floor, there will be signs directing you to the bathrooms.  Men are near the viewing room, Women’s are near the food/beverage room.

Where is the water?
            Water stations will be located in the lobby, and at floors 
5,  10,  22,  29,  35.  Water and Gatorade will also be available on the 8th floor.

Can we carry stuff on us while we climb?
            iPods, heart monitors, etc. may be used, but must be worn properly.  For example, cords must be tucked, no loose cords may dangle from your body as could be cause for injury.

Is there a place to leave my bag during the event?
Yes.  Check your belongings at the bag/coat check after receiving your climb bib.  We use your bib number to keep track of your coat/bag. 

Coat & Bag Check will be available on the 8th floor of the building (post event celebration location).  We suggest leaving all valuables at home or in your car because the ALA or building managment will not be held responsible for these items. Thank you!
How does timing work?
            Every single climber is professionally timed (chip timing).  Attach the chip on your shoe.  MAKE SURE YOU DON’T LEAVE THE 37th FLOOR WITHOUT GETTING IT CUT OFF!!

Are there awards?
-  Fastest overall climber (both male and female)
-  1st, 2nd, 3rd place in each age category
-  Top individual fundraiser (1st, 2nd, 3rd place)
-  Top fundraising team
-  Largest Team
-  Fastest First Responder in Full Gear
-  Fastest First Responder Team in Gear (top 4 fastest times)
-   Fastest Team (top 4 fastest times)
-  Most team spirit
-  Ribbons will be given to those returning climbers that beat last year’s time.
Awards will be handed out at the post-event celebration.  If you are not there and win an award, we will send it to you.
Live Streaming Video of the Finish Line 
There is no room at the top of the tower for on-lookers and supporters.  We will have a live video of the finish line (the 37th floor) playing in the "viewing room" on the 8th floor for any family members and friends of the participants who wish to view all throughout the climb. 

 T-shirts/Goodie Bags
 They can be picked up at the 8th floor (the post-event celebration location) after you finished climbing.  Keep the corner of your climber bib for t-shirt pick up.  You cannot receive your shirt and goodie bag without your bib.

How do I view my climbing results?
Unofficial results will be provided during the event (when available) at the post event celebration.  The timing company will email the timing results link after the race.  Official results will be available online at on our website Monday morning.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fundraising Tips

The days have flown by and the Fight for Air Climb will be here before we know it!  We put together a few tips and ideas to help you reach your fundraising goal with the limited amount of time left. 

We want to also thank you in advance, because the donations you raise are very important in carrying out the mission of the American Lung Association.  They support our programs geared toward helping people quit smoking, advocating for healthy air and educating thousands about lung diseases like asthma, COPD and lung cancer, as well as funding lung disease research.  We greatly appreciate your support and passion!

How to raise $300 in 8 days:
Day 1:   Pledge yourself = $20  
Day 2:   Ask your spouse/partner, boyfriend/girlfriend to sponsor you = $20
Day 3:   Ask mom/dad for $20 each = $40
Day 4:   Ask 4 friends for $10 each = $40
Day 5:   Ask 4 neighbors for $10 each = $40
Day 6:   Ask 2 relatives for $20 each = $40
Day 7:   Ask 6 co-`workers for $10 each = $60
Day 8:   Ask 2 teachers/business associates for $20 each = $40
·  Post your fundraising page link everywhere you can:
o   Facebook Status
o   Create a facebook event and invite all your friends
o   Post on a friend’s wall or send a group of them a message.
o   Twitter
o   LinkedIn
o   Email signature
o   Emails
·  Personalize your fundraising page.  When your friends and family see your fundraising page, “wow” them with the effort you put in to it by uploading a picture and explaining why you’re climbing up 722 steps.
·  Express your Goal.  Let your friends and family know how far away you are from your goal.  They may donate more if they know they’re going to be the one that puts you over your goal or gets you to the half way mark.
·  If you’re keeping track of donations on a pledge sheet or on an envelope, indicate your own contribution and make sure the top few are significant donations.   Others are likely to follow along with the same amount.
·  Aim high!  Ask for $100 and settle for $50!  Base your amount on their ability to give.
·  Ask at least one person a day to sponsor you – don’t prejudge whether people will give or not.  The worse they could say is no and you move on to the next person.
·  Be passionate about fundraising.  If you show passion in your voice when explaining how important the donations are, people will feel honored to donate.  The more effort and passion you put in to fundraising, the more money you'll raise.
·  Carry your collection envelope with you at all times.  You never know when someone will donate.
·  Tell your sponsors why you’re participating for the ALA.  Emphasize that more than 35 million Americans suffer from lung disease, everyday 11 people die because of asthma, and that more money is needed to fund lifesaving lung disease research.
·  Follow-up, Follow-up.  People want to donate, but like you and me, their lives are busy.  Don’t be afraid to follow-up unanswered emails, letters or phone calls - sometimes people have forgotten or just need the extra little push.  Remind them nicely and express the urgency… we only have a few days left!
·  Ask ten friends for $10 each!  You’ve reached $100 – but don’t stop there!
·  Matching Gifts.  Ask your donors if their company has a matching gift program.  You can easily double your pledges through matching gifts! 
·  Don’t forget to say “thank you!  It is important to promptly thank your donors for their support with a thank you note.

Friday, March 4, 2011

There are many "Grandpa Norman's"

I have been involved with the American Lung Association since January 2009.  I became involved with the ALA because of my grandpa Norman...

In high school I joined the bowling team (haha that's right, the bowling team!).  I didn't know the first thing about bowling, but apparently my grandpa was an amazing bowler back in the day.  We made weekly trips to the bowling alley and he taught me everything he knew.  He was the reason I bowled in the 170s consistently and even bowled my highest game... a 204! 

My grandpa and I became so close through those lessons.  I loved listening to his stories and seeing him at every bowling match.  Unfortunately, my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer in Feb. 2007 and passed away the very next month.  I remember always seeing him with a cigarette in his hand and behind his ear.  Every time he went to light up, I would tell him, "Grandpa, you should really quit.  One of these days it's going to kill you."  And unfortunately, it did.

When my grandpa was young they didn't know smoking was unhealthy.  Today we do.  The ALA has done so much to prevent lung disease and promote lung health through education, advocacy and research.  They gave us the luxury of walking into smoke free restaurants and bars.  They educate children how to handle their asthma through school programs and camps.  They fund research for lung cancer, emphysema, COPD, asthma, and so much more.
There are many "grandpa norman's" out there and I thank each ALA supporter.  Your participation helps us honor those suffering and those who have passed away from lung disease.  Your fundraising efforts help fight for children with asthma, teens who are pressured to start smoking, people with lung cancer and emphysema, and everyone who wants to breathe healthy air in our communities.  Thank you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

“I had to take climbing Mount Everest off my ‘bucket list.’ The Gulf Tower is now my Mount Everest.”

The idea of climbing Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain in the Himalaya Mountains, has been a challenge long coveted by climbers, adventurers and sports enthusiasts alike.  It no doubt has been on the ‘bucket lists’ of many.  Pittsburgh’s Robert Trozzo, a retired Air Force and Navy Chief Petty Officer and divorced father of one, was one such person.  Over five years ago he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a type of lung disease, and so there’s a different “mountain” he’d like to climb – the ‘Fight for Air’ Climb at the Gulf Tower, an event benefitting the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania March 19.

“I suggested the idea of participating in the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb to my pulmonologist, and he thought it was a good idea,” said Mr. Trozzo.  I had to take climbing Mount Everest off my ‘bucket list.’  The Gulf Tower is now my Mount Everest.”  And perhaps with good reason.  “I want to bring more awareness to the disease,” he says.  “IPF is not as prevalent as many of the lung diseases we typically think of, such as lung cancer and COPD, but it is just as serious.”

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is the scarring, thickening or stiffening of the lungs.  A chronic, progressive form of lung disease, it makes it increasingly difficult for those who suffer with the disease to breathe.  Approximately 200,000 Americans are affected with IPF.  There is no known cause of the disease, and the average life expectancy is three to five years.

“I get breathless very easily.  It is like a slow suffocation,” he says.  “Imagine this – I was in the military my whole life, and now there’s very little strenuous activity I can do anymore.”

Ironically, the stairs of Bob’s two-story home are the biggest challenge he faces with IPF.  “Stairs seems to be my big nemesis.  Shopping is also a problem because it’s difficult to carry bags and manage an oxygen unit at the same time.” 

Mr. Trozzo has received the green light to climb the 700-plus stairs of the Gulf Tower by his doctors and will be climbing on team "Simmons Center for IPF".    Right now, he works out three days a week at a pulmonary rehabilitation facility and has been an amazing asset to the Fight for Air Climb committee.  He has helped spread awareness of the event, IPF, the ALA, and trying to create several teams for the Fight for Air Climb, encompassing friends and health care associates.  Thank you Bob!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fundraising Personal Page Messages

When your friends and family donate to your personal fundraising page, they have the option of writing an encouraging and inspirational message.  Below are the directions on how to receive those messages:

1.            Log into your Participant Center
2.            Click on the “My Progress” icon (see First Screenshot below)
3.            Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find “Gift History” (see Second Screenshot below)
4.            Click on either “Print List” or “Download List”. 
                a.  “Download List” works better to view all messages.  This will download their names, addresses, donations and personal messages to a .csv file which you can either just open and view the spreadsheet or save it. 
                b.  “Print List” opens a window where you can “View (message)” one at a time for each individual donor.  (If you print the list the messages do not show.)