Storm coming to Trail staircases

Trail and District United Way gears up for Storm the Stairs fundraiser on Saturday.

United Way director Naomi McKimmie is set to Storm the Stair on Saturday in the charity’s big fundraiser.

United Way director Naomi McKimmie is set to Storm the Stair on Saturday in the charity’s big fundraiser.

Trail’s iconic covered stairs will be put to good use for many good causes on Saturday as the Trail and District United Way gears up for its major fundraising event, Storm the Stairs.

Trail was recently billed as the “San Francisco of BC” and Storm the Stairs as one of the Top 11 things to do this summer by BCAA Westworld Magazine, in which the fun fundraiser encourages participants to run/walk a network of up to 1,495 stairs and raise funds for the United Way.

“It’s not a race, it’s a fun run or walk, there’s no first, second, or third, but we do have prizes for the top fundraisers individuals and teams and we have some really awesome doorprizes this year,” said United Way director Naomi McKimmie.

Last year, in the inaugural event, 23 participants raised close to $9,000 for the charity that helps families and community organizations support youth, combat poverty, and improve health.

“Our hope this year is that we can double our participation as well as raise, we’re hoping, about $10,000 between registration and pledges,” said McKimmie.

This year’s registration is still underway, but the turnout is expected to exceed last year’s total, with registration going right up until the 9 a.m. start on Saturday. Described as “the most unique fitness challenge in the province” Storm the Stairs participants can choose either the 4-kilometre Express Route or the 6.6 km Grande course, which features 18-covered staircases with close to 1,500 individual stairs.

The stairs also received improvements from the City of Trail last year, so it should be smooth sailing up and down for all participants. Historically, the longest single set of stairs was situated from mid-Rossland Avenue up to Austad Lane, with 225 steps and 24 landings. The longest multiple set of staircases starts on Spokane Street at Pine Avenue and leads up to Lookout Street, with 323 steps and 17 landings.

Individuals age 14 and over or teams between three and five people can register and are encouraged to collect pledges. Participants receive Storm the Stairs t-shirts, water bottles, and travel bags as well as a chance to win one of many prizes donated from sponsors, but the real benefit comes through the participants’ efforts to help many different groups at the same time.

“The money we raise gets allocated in January of every year,” said Mckimmie. “For example, the money we raised in 2015 have helped to support 15 local organizations that are supplying 21 different individuals and families right from Rossland to Fruitvale to Genelle.”

Final registration and check in time goes from 8-8:45 a.m. Saturday at the Piazza Colombo on Rossland Ave. For more information or to register online go to