Step Up to Restore Sight: Eureka Stair Climb

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One of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, the Eureka Tower, has joined forces with The Fred Hollows Foundation to invite people to ‘step up for sight’ by taking on the 11th annual Eureka Stair Climb on Sunday 25 November.

Around 2,500 participants, ranging from social to elite competitors, are expected to sign up for the challenge on which involves scaling 1,642 steps, or 88 floors, to the Eureka Skydeck at the top of the Eureka Tower in Melbourne’s Southbank precinct.

For the first time, Australia’s premier stair climbing event has partnered with The Fred Hollows Foundation to raise vital funds for its work to end avoidable blindness.

Not only will participants push themselves physically and mentally to ascend the 297-metre skyscraper, they will aim to raise at least $350,000 to restore sight to some of the poorest people in the world.

“The Eureka Tower is the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere, so as you can imagine, there will be a tremendous sense of achievement for participants when they reach the top,” said The Hon. John Brumby AO, Chair of The Fred Hollows Foundation.

“The Eureka Stair Climb is a great community-spirited event where every climber can not only conquer a personal goal, they can also give the gift of sight to some of the world’s poorest people living with avoidable blindness.

“There’s a nice synergy between the Eureka Stair Climb and Fred Hollows’ energy for scaling new heights, through both his love of mountaineering and through the eye care innovations he championed, particularly in modern cataract surgery.

“Fred was greatly respected and admired for the way he confronted a challenge head on and I hope that same tenacity inspires people to take on the Eureka Stair Climb and helps us continue the life-changing work Fred started.”

The Eureka Stair Climb is open to anyone over the age of 12, in categories ranging from elite racers and emergency services personnel to fitness fanatics, walkers and first-timers.

Each participant must raise at least $50, which can change the lives of up to two people as The Fred Hollows Foundation can restore sight for as little as $25 in some countries.

“Stair running is one of my ultimate passions,” said Alice McNamara, the fastest female climber for the past seven consecutive years.

“I love the physical intensity you face and the questions you have to answer when you feel like you can’t keep pushing anymore.

“I also think it’s great we can support The Fred Hollows Foundation and raise awareness and money for its work.

“The Foundation does some incredible work restoring sight to people who otherwise would never have the opportunity. The gift of sight is immeasurable.”

For Metropolitan Fire Brigade Station Officer Scott McGraw, this is the 10th year he will take on the Eureka Stair Climb and he is planning to do the climb twice.

“I love everything about the event – being part of my stair climbing team “Rescue Me”, the challenge of scaling 88 levels and also being able to raise funds and awareness for good causes in my role as an operational firefighter with the MFB,” said Station Officer McGraw.

“This will be the 10th year I’ve done the Eureka Stair Climb and I’ll be aiming for sub-10 minutes for my athletic gear climb and sub-14 minutes for my full gear climb, which is about 25 kilograms of full firefighting kit and breathing apparatus.

“The event is not only a huge personal challenge, it’s also a chance to help continue the legacy of Fred Hollows, a remarkable human being with a huge heart, and help others less fortunate than myself live better lives.”

Every Eureka Stair Climber who completes the event will receive a finishing medal and prizes will be on offer for the winning times and best dressed by category.

To register and for more information, please visit eurekastairclimb.org.

Media RelationsMonica Egan