One mil­lion stairs

Money raised will help low-in­come fam­i­lies par­tic­i­pate in ad­ven­ture camps

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - MOIRA WY­TON @moirawyton

A Satur­day fundraiser is aim­ing high — hav­ing par­tic­i­pants climb more steps than there are peo­ple in the city.

Healthy Steps for CHANGE is rais­ing money for a lo­cal non-profit by chal­leng­ing Ed­mon­ton to climb one mil­lion stairs on Satur­day.

“The idea is that we get lots of peo­ple out and we spend some time out­side on the stair­case and have some fun and get some re­ally good ex­er­cise at the same time,” said event or­ga­nizer Doug Klein, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Al­berta fac­ulty of medicine.

The money raised, co-or­ga­nized by the U of A depart­ment of fam­ily medicine and the Ed­mon­ton Oliver Pri­mary Care Net­work, will help low-in­come fam­i­lies par­tic­i­pate in ad­ven­ture camps run by CHANGE Health Al­berta. The non-profit sup­ports the devel­op­ment of good nu­tri­tion, well­ness and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity habits in chil­dren and fam­i­lies.

Now in its fourth year, the fundraiser has reached more than one mil­lion steps each year since 2016. Klein ex­pects up to 1,000 in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing some from schools around the city, to par­tic­i­pate this year.

Klein said not all fam­i­lies feel com­fort­able out and about in the river val­ley, but Satur­day’s event is de­signed to make en­joy­ing the out­doors easy.

Start­ing at 8 a.m., vol­un­teers will be at the Grand­view stairs next to the Al­fred H. Sav­age Cen­tre on Fox Drive to count flights climbed by par­tic­i­pants through­out the day.

But any­one who wants to par­tic­i­pate can also re­port their own steps climbed any­where in the city and log them on­line. Do­na­tions will also be col­lected in per­son and on­line through CHANGE.

Klein hopes the event will con­tinue to en­cour­age peo­ple to get out in the river val­ley, even as the cold weather sets in.

“We have this amaz­ing river val­ley and we’ve got stair­cases that are ac­tu­ally main­tained by the city through­out the year,” said Klein. “They’re a great way to get phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity year­round.”

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