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Making a Difference, One Step at a Time

March 8, 2007

Paul and Mark Cossette

Climbers Paul and Mark Cossette race up 50
floors to help raise money for CF research.

The New York Times has called the IDS Center in Minneapolis “one of the finest skyscrapers built in any American city.” With 50 floors, that means 1,280 steps—a fact supporters of the CF Foundation know well. On Saturday, February 10, more than 700 people hit every step in a race to the top during the Minnesota Chapter’s 26th annual Climb for a Cure.

This year, Climb for a Cure was sponsored by law firm Briggs and Morgan, P.A. In an effort to support the Foundation’s mission, each participant accepted the challenge to first raise at least $50 in pledges and then take on the daunting task of climbing every stair in the building.

As guests got into their start positions at the bottom of the stairs, two groups—engaged in their own friendly competition—stood out: the Minneapolis Police and Fire Departments vs. the St. Paul Police and Fire Departments. Each team sent up their five fastest climbers angling for their chance to win prizes donated by Ergodyne, Inc.

Among the crowd of 700, there were also three individuals with CF, who each had lung transplants in 2005. Each showed incredible spirit in the race. In the end, however, there could only be one winner: Dan Casper, a Minneapolis firefighter who made it to the top of the tower in an incredible 6 minutes and 18 seconds.

Awaiting all participants at the end of the strenuous race was a lunch reception held on the 50th floor at the premier event center, WINDOWS on Minnesota. At the after-party, climbers also enjoyed music, games and a variety of exciting entertainment. Under the leadership of co-chairs Irene Payne, Linda Melquist and Anne Hofman, Climb for a Cure raised $135,000.

Special thanks go to Central Parking for donating parking during the event and lunch sponsors Buddy’s Kitchen, Culligan’s Water, Midwest Coca-Cola Bottling, Old Dutch Potato Chips, Fresh & Natural Foods and Lund Food Holdings. Other key volunteers who made the event a high-climbing success were Christine Johnson, Leah Dittenberner, Noelle Erling, Susan Martinez, John Pike, Andrew Pike, Jessica Vettrus, Brian Seditlitz and Don and Sandy Honerbrink.


The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.