Fighting fires and fundraising for leukaemia

Simon Manawaiti, left, and Dan Auber climbed the Conical Peak track from Conical Peak Road.

Warkworth Volunteer Fire Brigade members Simon Manawaiti and Dan Auber refused to let lockdown hold them back from raising money for leukaemia.

The brigade had assembled a team to compete in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge, which was scheduled for May 23, but was cancelled due to Covid-19. The annual challenge sees firefighters climb 328 metres via 1,103 steps.

Simon and Dan decided that they would instead climb Conical Peak in the Dome Valley on the same day.

Despite wearing full protective gear, the pair powered up the 2km climb in 20 minutes.

Simon says the brigade team will still compete if the stair challenge event is rescheduled for its back-up date in November.

“Book us in for a spot at the podium. We pretty much have to win it because we have done the training, climbed the Dome, and now we have even more time to prepare, so there’s no excuses,” he says.

The team set a goal of fundraising $6,000 and, despite being set back by Covid-19, have managed to raise $1800 so far.

“We’ve been stoked to have been sponsored by Sentient PPM Software and Accountech Warkworth,” Simon says.

The team had also planned to fundraise by having a BBQ stall at the A&P Show, as well as a scaffolding tower that kids could climb in full gear, before the event was cancelled.

The Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge is an annual fundraiser for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).

Each year firefighters from New Zealand, Australia, the US, Chile and Germany compete and fundraise.

Each day, six children and adults in New Zealand are diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, or a related blood condition.

To sponsor Warkwoth Fire Brigade

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