Residents of Dunwoody and metro Atlanta will have the opportunity to come together again Saturday at the Second Annual Dunwoody Memorial Manhattan Stair Climb to honor and memorialize the 343 New York City firefighters and 80 police officers who gave their lives trying to save the lives of others on Sept. 11, 2001.
Organized by FAO (Fire Apparatus Operator) Patrick Lindstrom, who spearheaded the first climb, held last year in honor of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the event will again take place at the Manhattan Condominiums on Olde Perimeter Way at Perimeter Place.
Last year’s climb attracted more than 200 climbers, many of them firefighters in full gear, and raised more than $10,000 for the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation to help young burn victims regain their lives.
Lindstrom is hoping to do even better this year.
“These kids really go through tough times,” he said. “Once burned, there’s no going back.”
Two ways the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation (GFBF) helps children are its education programs on fire safety and its seven-day summer camp for juvenile burn victims.
“For seven days, the kids who attend the camp can just be kids,” Lindstrom said, “and not be judged on how they look.”
Lindstrom has several reasons for wanting to make the climb an annual event.
“Being burned,” he said, “is a life-changing event. If we didn’t do the climb again, we’d always wonder how much we could have raised for these kids.”
Equally powerful are the more personal reasons he and his firefighting brethren have for supporting the annual climb.
“When those buildings collapsed, our brothers were in them,” he said.
The Second Annual Dunwoody Manhattan Memorial Stair Climb is open to people of all ages and fitness levels.
People who can’t climb a single step can register and be honorary climbers. Anyone who wants to make the whole climb will be climbing 26 floors of stairs. Several people last year made the climb four times and added six steps to equal the 110 stories of the original Twin Towers. Many young children made the climb as well.
Lindstrom’s two young daughters, ages five and seven, climbed 52 floors. His mother, who can’t climb, came “to climb one floor with my son.”
Registration for the climb is available online at the Burn Foundation’s website gfbf.org until the morning of the event. Registration is available also in person at the event. Everyone who preregisters will get a commemorative T-shirt on the day of the climb. Those who register at the event will receive a T-shirt later by mail.
Opening ceremonies begin at 8 am on Saturday, Sept. 8. Cold drinks will be available at no charge thanks to event sponsors, who include The Manhattan, KPI (insurance), Pepsi, Community One Associates, Dunwoody Baptist Church, Firemen and Police Insurance Company and Brio Tuscan Grill.
More importantly, the sponsors have covered all of the event expenses so that all money raised by the event will go directly to the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation to help young burn victims.