More than 400 firefighters, police officers and other first responders marched up and down 110 flights of stairs at the CNY Memorial Stair Climb at the Utica State Office Building on Saturday, to honor the fire-responders lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
“It’s nice to see the community come together and remember 9/11 in such a memorable way,” said Oriskany Fire Chief Jeff Burkhart, who organized the event. “it went really well.”
More than $23,000 has been raised so far for local charities, Burkhart said. A total of 62 different agencies from five states were represented at the stair climb, which began at 8:46 a.m. Saturday.
Burkhart said the Oriskany Fire Department and the New York State Police were honored for bringing the most climbers for a fire department and a police department, respectively.
The Whitesboro Fire Department won the cooking contest from the kick-off party on Friday for their chicken riggies, and the New York Mills Fire Department won for their greens.
Burkhart said he has already begun planning for next year’s climb.
Each year, funds raised by the CNY Memorial Stair Climb are donated to several beneficiaries: the Believe 271 Foundation, the Deputy Kurt B. Wyman Memorial Park, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.