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Roughly 1,000 BWHers and community members participated in ClimbCorps' first fundraising event, ClimbAmerica!, to support heart health and cardiovascular wellness.
During the two-day event, enthusiastic participants took part in friendly stair climb races, raising more than $75,000 for the program. The fundraiser was held on Jan. 26 at 100 Summer St. in Boston and Jan. 27 at the Prudential Tower at 800 Boylston St.
"ClimbAmerica! was the first stair climb event that I have ever done," said Carlen Singmaster, BWH special events coordinator. "The atmosphere was electrifying, and you could see that people were excited to be there to support the cause." Singmaster said the highlight of the event for her was reaching the top and being greeted with a huge smile and high-five from BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD.
ClimbCorps, the nation's first service corps dedicated to health and wellness, was launched by BWH's Cardiovascular Wellness Service last September to promote stair climbing as a simple way to stay active. The group's 20 corps members are stationed in 10 buildings throughout Boston, including BWH and the Prudential Tower. In addition to organizing and leading group stair climbs during the week, corps members educate the public about heart disease awareness, prevention and the importance of an active lifestyle.
The collaborative efforts and collective enthusiasm of ClimbCorps members, climbers and fundraisers helped to make the event a huge success. Funds raised will go toward programming, education and research at BWH, to fight heart disease, America's number one killer.
Caitlin Johnson, communication specialist for the Cardiovascular Wellness Service and ClimbCorps, said the fundraiser "planted a seed" that the organization hopes will grow in the future. The program plans to host another ClimbAmerica! event in June, with a long-term goal of expanding the program to a national level.
View more photos from the event, and learn more about ClimbCorps.