80 floors, 1,634 steps, and more than $629,000 for kids

Kids from the British International School of Chicago in Lincoln Park, celebrate their achievement. (Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)

By Yunyi(Jessie) Liu
Medill Reports

More than 2,500 people climbed the 80 flights to the top of the Aon Center, the city’s third tallest skyscraper, to help children battling illness and families at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

The annual “Step Up for Kids” event  on Sunday earned $629,772.52 up to now, just shy of the $800,000 goal. All the funds raised benefit the Lurie Children’s Department of Family Services, a division of the hospital that focuses on the mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of patients and their families. K.I.D.S.S. for Kids, a fundraising organization affiliated with the hospital, has organized the event for the last two decades.

Stair-steppers gathered from across Chicago, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, according to Ted McCartan, director of Community Engagement at the hospital,.

The event ran from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Chicagoan Terry Purcell championed the competition with an astonishing 9-minute, 44-second climb, followed by Robert Liking at 10 minutes and Tara Linn 10 minutes and 44 seconds.

Photo at top: Kids from the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, completed the climb.  ( Yunyi(Jessie) Liu/MEDILL)