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Cancer climb celebrates 25 years

Harley Davidson/Special to The Review/Postmedia Network

Hundreds of people tackled the Skylon Tower's 660 steps for the annual Stair Climb for Cancer in April, 2016. The event will celebrate 25 years of people making the climb up the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls to raise money for cancer research on Saturday, April 22, 2017.
(JOHN LAW/NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW/POSTMEDIA NETWORK FILE PHOTO)

Hundreds of people tackled the Skylon Tower's 660 steps for the annual Stair Climb for Cancer in April, 2016. The event will celebrate 25 years of people making the climb up the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls to raise money for cancer research on Saturday, April 22, 2017. (JOHN LAW/NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW/POSTMEDIA NETWORK FILE PHOTO)

The Canadian Cancer Society is encouraging Niagara residents to “step up” on Saturday at its annual stair climb for children with cancer.

The event will celebrate 25 years of people making the climb up the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls to raise money for cancer research.

A quarter-century is “a huge milestone for any local fundraising event,” says Michelle Begin, community fundraising specialist with the cancer society.

“We are also the only charity that is allowed into the Skylon Tower to do the climb, making it a unique event for Niagara.”

As is tradition, the 660-step climb up the Skylon Tower is open to two categories: youth and family, and athlete and elite.

New this year, participants who can’t make the physical climb can now become virtual climbers by registering online to support the event.

Begin says the cancer society wanted to offer the opportunity to show support to those who can’t make it to the event or don’t have the ability to climb.

She says the Wheels of Hope program is a vital service, particularly with families with a child who has cancer since there are no children’s treatments being done in Niagara, forcing children to go to Hamilton or Toronto to be cared for.

Last year the climb raised $34,900, with approximately 350 participants.

This year their goal is to hit $40,000.

All funds raised will go to the Wheels of Hope program in Niagara, as well as fund pediatric research by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Begin says typically between 300-800 people participate, but she’s not sure how many will take part in Saturday’s event because it’s more of a “drop in on the day of.”

Climb facts

520: Feet

40: Flights

660: Steps

3:21: Time to beat