For Josh Jackett, it’s the stairs, every time, because each flight of stairs offers Jackett the opportunity to build fitness and meet his training goals. As a competitive stair climber, Jackett travels the country, participating in as many as 10 events each year. Most benefit one nonprofit organization or another, and all require effort for a great cause.
But the Gift of Adoption Fund Michigan Chapter “Stepping Up to Bring Families Together” climb is dear to Jackett’s heart. In addition to offering a chance for people to gather together on Saturday, Nov. 23 to climb to the top – or just half way – of the iconic 2000 Town Center building in the Southfield City Centre, the event benefits children and the families who adopt them.
“This is a special charity because you don’t see a lot of stair climbs that benefit this type of organization,” Jackett says, who shares that his father was adopted, as well as his maternal grandmother. “People I knew in college have adopted kids and to see what they have gone through, I’m so happy to help out to raise money and awareness.”
A Great Climb for a Great Cause
Specifically designed to challenge participants to fundraise for the Gift of Adoption Fund Michigan Chapter (GOA), the event will engage every fitness level and offer many participation options for people aged 5 and older. The event is a way for coworkers, families, and friends to work together to support a worthy organization that believes that having a family is the basic right of children everywhere and which works to give as many children without families a life they would not have known otherwise. Gift of Adoption is a volunteer-driven nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
All money raised through donations for the GOA Stepping Up to Bring Families Together climb will support adoption assistance grants to connect vulnerable children with families in Michigan. Each climber is encouraged to raise $100 and can create a personal fundraising page after registering for the event.
A Category for Every Ability
While most people balk at the idea of climbing one flight of stairs – much less 28 – Jackett says stair climbing is a great activity for runners and cyclists who want to maintain fitness during the winter months. And for those looking to get into shape or face a pre-Thanksgiving challenge, stair climbing for a good cause ties everything together. Even those who want to take it at a slower pace can find a suitable participation category.
“I think anyone can stair climb. You don’t have to go all out,” says Jackett, who lives near Milwaukee and has family in Metro Detroit. “If your goal is to get faster and you have stairs to train on, you can track your progression. It’s great cross training, and you may hate it because it’s hard, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it.”
Jackett, who has been climbing competitively since 2013, will be participating in the “Power Hour,” climbing to floor 28 and descending by elevator as many times as he can in 60 minutes. He thinks he’ll probably be able to make it to the top 10 times, or maybe 11.
“Not everyone climbs at this pace, but anyone can do it. I definitely say anyone can do it, and you may even get hooked.”