Firefighters make climb for leukemia

By John Leggett-The Courier Herald

There is a strong likelihood that none of the 23 members of the Buckley Fire Department went to church March 2, before or after participating in the 17th Annual Scott Firefighters Stairclimb in Seattle.

There is also a good chance that their higher power will pardon their absence, since they performed their penance by virtue of the physical nature of their mission and the charitable cause they were climbing for - a fundraising event to benefit the Washington/Alaska Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

In its first four years of competing in this event the Buckley department has been the top fundraising team three times. Not including this year's totals, the squad has raised $113,000 for the society.

While the fundraising results of this year's event won't be known until after March 31, nearly a fourth of the 23 participants came forth with an insurance measure to assure they would be the top fundraising team again this year - by climbing the 69 flights of stairs in Seattle's Bank of America Tower in full fire fighting gear, twice.

The group included Chief Alan Predmore and firefighters Jared Barrett, Mitchell Mears, Jonathan Riggsby and Joe Skipworth.

The 18 other participants from the Buckley squad were Lts. Angie Riggsby and John Justice and firefighters Zach Ames, Don Baxter, Carli Haulet, Tanya Holland, Joey Mahlen, Dean Mundy, Dr. Jeffrey Morse, Caitlin Riggsby, Matthew Riggsby, Chad Snopko, Evan Stone, Chris Tabery, Jeremy Tost, Tami Tracy, Dennis Voss and Maryn Voss.

Participating in this year's event were 1,300 firefighters from all over the world, comprising 156 teams. Buckley's team finished exactly in the middle of the pack in 78th place.

It is not too late to donate, as the deadline for donations is March 31. Donating on-line can be done by visiting

John Leggett can be reached at

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