By NATE KING
The Salina Fire Department has announced that the second annual Central Kansas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and Family Fun Walk will take place this fall at Kansas Wesleyan University.
Salina Fire Chief Tony Sneidar said although planning for the climb last year was on a time crunch, there was still great support for the event.
"At last year's inaugural event we had some great support," Sneidar said. "We put the event together in about seven weeks and I got confirmation in March that of the 50 climbs around the country last year, we were 14th in funds raised at $25,800. So I'm looking forward to this year eclipsing that - not by a little bit, but by a lot."
Event check-in and on-site registration is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Sept. 9 at Graves Family Sports Complex, 231 E. Cloud Street. The event is scheduled to begin with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. The cost is $30 per person.
All proceeds will benefit the FDNY Counseling Services Unit and the programs provided by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (501c3) which have provided much needed assistance to the surviving families and co-workers of the firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11, 2001.
"We are commemorating the fallen firefighters and completing their mission. The stair climb is symbolic of climbing to the top of the World Trade Center and it really is an awesome site," Sneidar said. "Also what we will do is everybody that participates will get to carry a pictured card of one of the 343 firefighters that we lost on 9/11."
The Central Kansas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb & Family Walk is a way to honor and remember the FDNY firefighters who selflessly gave their lives so that others might live on Sept. 11, 2001. Each participant pays tribute to an FDNY firefighter by climbing or walking the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. Your individual tribute not only remembers the sacrifice of an FDNY member, but it symbolically completes their heroic journey to save others.
Firefighter and community participation can ensure that each of the 343 firefighters is honored and that the world knows that we will never forget. Since that fateful day, there have been an additional 300+ firefighters who have succumbed to 9/11 related injuries or illness.
The 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb & Family Walk are not a timed race event, but a way for firefighters, police officers, EMS personnel, families, friends and the entire community to honor and remember.
All participants will have the honor of carrying the name badge of one of the fallen 343 firefighters and will also receive a 9/11 Stair Climb/Family Walk T-shirt to commemorate the event.
There will also be an after party following the event, complete with food, adult and kid beverage specials, live music, and much more!