Porirua fire­fight­ers reach for the Sky

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Paul Sete­fano should be used to the Sky Tower Chal­lenge by now, but he feels like there are more steps each year.

The Porirua fire­fighter was a stand­out in the fundrais­ing stakes for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand, which each year chal­lenges fire sta­tions around the coun­try to raise money for sup­port ser­vices and re­search into the dis­ease.

The fundrais­ing cul­mi­nates in a gru­elling climb up the Sky Tower in Auck­land.

Sete­fano raised nearly $15,000 by him­self – he started rat­tling his bucket in pub­lic and get­ting people to spon­sor him back in De­cem­ber.

His Porirua team – him­self, Sam Payne, Ala­maine Thomas, Steve Mitchell and Siaosi Meavao – col­lected $40,572, the high­est amount of any team in New Zealand.

Porirua also won in­di­vid­ual fundrais­ing awards in 2011 and 2013.

Sete­fano said he was blown away by people’s gen­eros­ity.

‘‘When I reg­is­tered I hoped to raise $11,000, and I was able to pass that in six weeks. There’s a real giv­ing spirit out there and it makes you proud. I reckon about 85 or 90 per cent of the money we raised came from just shak­ing buck­ets in pub­lic.’’

He said he still got the same buzz cross­ing the line in his gear at the top of the Sky Tower, but it’s get­ting harder af­ter five years.

‘‘I go up with new people each time and get a kick out of it. It does feel like they’re adding five or 10 floors [there are 51 to climb] each year though.

‘‘We didn’t train as hard for it as in the past. All our fo­cus was on fundrais­ing.’’

For the record, Mitchell shaved 30 sec­onds off the Porirua record for the stair climb, get­ting to the top in 15 min­utes, 23 sec­onds.

The win­ner took a stag­ger­ing 8 min­utes, and Sete­fano about 30.

Sete­fano said the run up the Sky Tower was off­set by catch­ing up with old faces and a sense of ca­ma­raderie among the par­tic­i­pants.

Payne has raised $8838 to date, Thomas $7539, Mitchell $5267 and Meavao $2628.

Sete­fano said there would be a push to hit the $ 1 mil­lion mark na­tion­wide.

Hot step­pers: Porirua fire­fight­ers with their tro­phy for the best fundrais­ing team na­tion­wide and the smaller tro­phy, which they will proudly dis­play at the Porirua sta­tion. Clock­wise from top left, Steve Mitchell, Paul Sete­fano, Sam Payne, Ala­maine Thomas, Siaosi Meavao.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.