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Step Up For Charity

In 2006 it came to Jim Campbell's attention that a fellow firefighter, Bell Ekse of Washington State, in order to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, spent 24 hours on a stair stepping machine, taking 66,102 steps of eight inches each - a total of 44,068 feet (nine miles) straight uphill. This was widely acclaimed as a world record.

Stair climb races are fairly popular among firefighters and Pike Township (Indianapolis) has fielded one of the best ones in the city for many, many years, dominating the "Bop to the Top"- an annual stair climb race up the 37 story AUL building. About 10 years ago Jim had been a member of that team as well.

Interested in becoming active in the competition once again, Jim went into training. In his first event in a decade he felt disappointed in his performance and felt he should work to become better. He decided that as a motivation for getting into better shape, and helping others at the same time, he would attempt to break Ekse's record.

On August 17th, 2006 (after months of intensive training and losing 20% of his body weight as a result) Lt James Campbell finished 24 hours of stair climbing and completely shattered the previous record. The record now stood at 106,000 stairs- 13.4 vertical miles- or the equivalent of a half-marathon straight up.

In October of 2007 Campbell attempted to break his own record. With the sun beating down hard (90 degrees with high humidity) Jim managed to climb 83,509 stairs in 24 hours. Not enough to break a record but more than enough to raise money for the three main charities that he helps to support.

This year, 2008, the record was broken by another Campbell, although unrelated to Jim. Scott Campbell, personal trainer from Portland, Oregon, climbed 264 steps higher that Jim's previous record. Scott's efforts were put forth to help raise funds for AIDS Projects in Kenya.

Unfortunately the Guiness Book of World Records does not recognize this event for inclusion in their book. Luckily the charities helped through these efforts were the most important thing on the climber's minds.


Jim Campbell's fund raising efforts on behalf of charity continues! Please don't believe that because the climbs are done, so is the work. The fund raising goal was set very high this time around and, to date, very little of it has been raised. Please consider contributing, either through the link provided or directly to the charities. Thank you.

This event is done for the sole purpose of raising money for charity!

Three main charities are supported by this: to help educate firefighters’ kids through The Jim Cleek Scholarship Fund (an educational endowment in honor of one of my Lieutenants who died of cancer), to educate Police officers’ kids through The Jason Baker Scholarship (a scholarship in honor of a local police officer murdered in the line of duty), and better US Army Officers through The Maude Foundation (a scholarship in honor of my brother in law, killed on 9-11). These are smaller charities that struggle to receive funding and to whom a small donation means a great deal.

100%- every single penny- of the money donated to this event goes to benefit the charities. There are no overhead costs and any expenses (such as this website and printed materials) are covered by other specific individual donations.

"Charity efforts remain on going and I'm surprised that they've required more effort than the actual climbing, as hard as that may be to believe" states Lt. Campbell. “These are charities that are either based in or have strong Indianapolis connections, yet most of the donations come from businesses with little link to this area. It would certainly be motivating to see local folks support a US Soldier, a Police Officer, and a Firefighter who gave their all.”

Please click here to find out how you can help!

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