Monarch Firefighters Community Outreach Team Helps Raise $55,000 for National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

SEPTEMBER 9, 2014, St. Louis, Missouri…The Monarch Firefighters Community Outreach Team completed the Clayton 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on September 7, 2014, for the third year in a row, helping to raise nearly $55,000.

The stair climb draws participants from all over the nation and raises money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation whose mission supports the families of men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

“After meeting some of the families of fallen firefighters from 9/11, you quickly begin to see the immense wake that is left behind when a loved one is lost in the line of duty,” says Monarch Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Smith.

The climb of 110 floors, the same number of floors in the World Trade Center Buildings that were attacked and collapsed in New York City, is dedicated to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11/01. The event is hosted and organized by the Clayton Fire Department. Climbing is done in the 23-story Pierre-Laclede building next to the Clayton fire station at Forsythe and Bemiston avenues.

“We Climb Because They Climbed” is the tag line for the event now in its third year, which firefighter/paramedics completed in full turnout gear, SCBA air tank and axe or other tool. The climb is no easy feat.

“110 stories is a long way up no matter how you look at it. It’s hot, the gear is heavy and the steps never seem to end,” says Smith.

Each firefighter making the climb is assigned a personal tag with a picture of a firefighter from 9/11 and their truck assignment on that morning when the World Trade Center collapsed.

“Wearing their picture around your neck gives you all the motivation you need to get to the top; it’s unbelievable to try to imagine just what they must have been going through as they climbed higher and higher not knowing what they were walking toward,” Smith adds.

More than 300 climbers participated this year, all tasked with the duty to try to raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. This year’s event blew away the totals from last year by grossing close to $55,000.

The parents of FDNY Firefighter Christopher Santora were on hand to speak to the crowd of hundreds at the dedication of the newly unveiled Fallen Firefighter Memorial located just outside the Clayton fire house. The top individual fundraiser was honored at the dedication with a custom made axe from Liberty Artwork Designs.

That honor this year went to Monarch Firefighter and Monarch Firefighter Community Outreach team member Nick Smith, who raised more than $2,600.

“I felt blessed to be able to represent not only the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11 but every individual who donated to the cause in my name. It was a truly humbling experience and I owe it all to God.”

The Monarch Community Firefighters Outreach team consisted of Captain Brent Coleman, Engineer Ben Hotop and Firefighter/Paramedics Adam Stack and Nick Smith.

If you would like to donate to the fund, please use this link: https://fundraising.active.com…

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