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Fighting for a cause... Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade members Trent Macgregor (left), Glen Haywood and Chris Weir helped to raise $1689.80 to donate to Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. PHOTO: FIONA ELLIS

If you are ever scrambling up a flight of 1103 stairs wearing 25kg of firefighting gear, Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade member Chris Weir has some advice.

“Keep calm and focus on finishing,” Mr Weir said.

He undertook the annual Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge for the third time on November 21 alongside fellow brigade member Trent Macgregor, who was taking part for the second time.

The challenge was a fundraiser for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

The Gore and Pukerau Volunteer Fire Brigades raised $1689.80 to give to the fight against cancer.

This was part of $794,768 raised throughout the country.

Mr Weir had a personal best, completing the challenge in 13min 55sec.

He believed this was because the stairs were less crowded than usual as there were fewer competitors.

The challenge was normally held in May.

“Covid pushed it back.”

It felt good to help such a worthy cause, he said.

People gathered to support the firefighters and the Sky Tower glowed with red lighting to mark the event.

The duo were grateful for the support the community had given them, and grateful that Sgt Dan Stockfoods had provide them with a place to train.

They practised for the event by running up and down the five levels 10 times over.

A holiday was now in order before resuming training for next year’s challenge.

Brigade member Glen Haywood accompanied the duo north for support.

He raised $452 while away, starting with donations from those on his flight to Auckland.

It was good to see people willing to support the cause and the efforts of those taking part in the challenge, he said.

“I don’t think there’s many people around that don’t know someone affected by cancer.”bridge medianike