CK team raises more than 16,000 at Seattle stair climb

Seven from CK Fire & Rescue completed the stair climb. - Contributed Photo
Seven from CK Fire & Rescue completed the stair climb.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

They went from $9,000 to more than $16,000.

That’s the increase in funds earned by the Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue team, this year over last, via their participation in  the 23rd Annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb in Seattle this past weekend.

Per capita, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue finished in the top ten for fund-raising at the stair climb in Seattle this past Sunday.

The annual event challenges 1,800 firefighters from nearly 300 departments around the world to raise funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Financial tallies were still being done early this week, but organizers say that the event raised more than this year’s $1.55 million goal.

Central Kitsap firefighters raised more than $16,000 this year. Per capita, that works out to $1,545.61, which was the tenth best total out of the nearly 300 participating departments.

Resident firefighter Ryan Orseth, who also works at Silver City Brewery in Silverdale, was responsible for raising more than $5,200 of the team total. He’s been with the department for five years and this year marked his fourth competing in the climb.

“Once you look up at that building, you find yourself in awe,” he said. “It’s a moment where you just realize that, very shortly you’ll be climbing up those stairs gasping for air with every muscle in your body telling you to stop.”

One of the many reasons the firefighters don’t stop, though, is because as they ascend every flight of stairs they see a poster of a child who has fought leukemia or lymphoma.

“It gives me goose bumps just talking about it,” Orseth said. “It hits everybody hard, because if you don’t know somebody who has it, someday you’ll meet someone who does.”

In all, participants climb 69 flights and 1,311 steps, gaining 788 feet in vertical elevation. They do all of that while dressed in 50 pounds of “bunker gear” including a helmet, fireproof coat and pants, boots, breathing apparatus and air tanks used to fight fires.

Central Kitsap’s fastest finisher was David Mackovjak at 20 minutes and 18 seconds. Orseth was close on his heels at 21:56.

Not far behind them was Chief Scott Weninger at 23:17. Weninger, who took over the district in August 2013, has said that he’s wanted to take part in the actual climb for years and finally got his chance. Among the 59 chiefs that climbed this year, Weninger finished a very respectable 31st.

Other CKF&R firefighters that climbed this year included Doug Bekenyi (24:39); Kyle Good (28:35); Linda Jenkins (32:01); Steven Werner (37:59); and Lindsay Muller (41:51).

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

The Washington/Alaska Chapter ( is one of 60 local chapters across the U.S., with an additional 11 chapters in Canada. Located in Seattle since 1984, the Washington/Alaska Chapter is close to the treatment facilities where patients and families come for lifesaving therapies.  Major annual fundraising campaigns include Team In Training®, Light The Night® Walk, School & Youth ProgramsSM, the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, Big Climb, Man and Woman of the Year Awards, the Leukemia Cup Regatta and the Winter Pineapple Classic.

Teams that brought in the most money per capita:

Mountain Home Fire Department, $3,079.25

Hermiston Fire, $2,623.13

Longview Fire Department, $2,525.25

Jackson County Fire District #5, $2,102.13

Snoqualmie Pass Fire & Rescue, $2,004.18

Burley Fire Department, $1,679.71

North Highline Fire, $1,619.66

Richland Fire Department, $1,611.38

Tesoro Anacortes Fire Department, $1,556.67

Central Kitsap, $1,545.61




























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