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YMCA joins the fight to save lives in downtown Des Moines


The YMCA of Greater Des Moines announced today that they will partner and support the American Lung Association in Iowa’s 2017 Fight For Air Climb, Sunday, April 9.

The Wellmark YMCA (at 501 Grand Ave.) will be the starting point for thousands of participants of the Fight For Air Climb. The event takes place in downtown Des Moines across four buildings and is the Lung Association’s biggest fundraiser that supports life-saving research for lung disease.

“Every year more than 160,000 people die of lung cancer. It’s responsible for almost 7,000 deaths in Iowa. We’re proud to support an event like the Fight For Air Climb which is not only going to help save lives, but also encourages Iowans to be physically active,” said Dave Schwartz, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines.

As part of the partnership, the YMCA will also form climb teams and participate in the Gym & Fitness Challenge. The YMCA will also provide training opportunities to their members.

“We very grateful and excited about joining forces with such a well-known organization like YMCA. Anytime two like-minded community organizations partner to make a difference, great things happen. In this case, we’re getting people moving and saving lives,” said Micki Sandquist, Executive Director of the Lung Association.

Prep Iowa

Every year, thousands of Des Moines residents and Iowans from across the state and the mid-west participate in the Fight For Air Climb. It’s a stair climb of up to four buildings in downtown Des Moines: EMC Insurance Companies (15 floors), Financial Center (22 floors), Hub Tower (16 floors), and Ruan Center (32 floors) for a total of 85 floors combined.

Climbers help improve the lives of patients across the country and locally in Iowa. Almost ninety cents of every dollar raised goes directly to education, research and advocacy.

The early registration discount of $25 ends at midnight on April 2. It then goes up to $45 until April 8, and $55 on event day. There are four ways to participate; start a team, join a team, join as an individual or volunteer. Registration is open online at or by calling (515) 309-9507.

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