Ronnie eyes another Climb

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Sixty-nine floors, 140 staircase landings, 1,356 steps, 1,900 firefighters; Ronnie Dickerson knows the numbers by heart.

Which is fitting because heart is what the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb is all about.

“At every landing, all 140 of them, there are photos,” Mr. Dickerson said. “The first few years the photos were of survivors. But now the photos are in memory of loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer.”

Ron Dickerson will take part in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle March 6. The 2016 event will mark his sixth year of participation in the annual event that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Ron Dickerson will take part in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle March 6. The 2016 event will mark his sixth year of participation in the annual event that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

He said that even though the annual event at the Columbia Center in Seattle is about raising money for cancer research, he is hoping that his sixth attempt does more than just raise the minimum $1,500 fundraising requirement. He wants to bring awareness not just to the disease itself but to the possibility of prevention through a healthy lifestyle.

“There are so many people who are fighting – and losing – their battle to cancer, and I feel like this is something I can do to raise money and awareness for cancer and lifestyle changes to promote healthy living,” Mr. Dickerson said.

He has been training for the event since Oct. 6 and, through regular exercise and healthy diet, has lost 50 pounds, with a goal to lose 20 more before the March 6 event. He also hopes to crush another goal and cut last year’s time of 45 minutes nearly in half.

“Twenty-four minutes is my goal,” he said. “Last year I felt like I had trained really hard but nothing like this year.”

For the past 20 years, firefighters from throughout the country have entered the challenge each spring to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Participants must raise at least $1,500 in donations and sponsorships in order to qualify for the next year’s event. Last year Mr. Dickerson made up $1,700 of a record $2.2 million raised.

For three years, Mr. Dickerson was joined by Tim Kraack, but a knee injury has prevented Mr. Kraack from participating. Instead, he’ll serve as Mr. Dickerson’s support team and change out his oxygen tank.

Each year Mr. Dickerson dedicates his climb to someone undergoing cancer treatment, and he is looking for a person to commit this climb to.

Donations can be made to Mr. Dickerson directly, in an account set up at Banner Bank in St. Maries or with Ginger at the St. Maries fire station. But Mr. Dickerson said he would prefer donors submit their pledge online, as he is able to track the names of those who support his cause and thank individuals personally. Online donations can be made by clicking the Donate tab at the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb web site, llswa.org.

Mr. Dickerson is the fire chief for Potlatch Corp’s fire department and has served as a volunteer firefighter with the St. Maries Fire Protective District for two decades.

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