Haddad Subaru Boosts Pittsfield Fire's BFit Challenge Team
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Haddad Subaru has boosted the Pittsfield Fire Department's BFit Challenge fundraiser by $5,000 to support occupational cancer.
Though the monies cannot carry the first responders up the stairs of TD Garden during the strenuous event, it has allowed the department to surpass last year's fundraising goal over a month in advance. The auto dealer is this year's main sponsor, also selling team merchandise to raise proceeds for the cause.
"We were thrilled with that and jumped on board this year," Lt. Robert Leary said. "This is certainly huge."
The annual challenge in Boston fundraises for first responder and military charities and is sponsored by National Grid. On Jan. 28, first responders, military members and other community members will climb the stairs of the sports arena with air packs and helmets.
This is PFD's fourth year competing in the event. Last year, 11 crew members raised more than $4,500 for the New England Fire Cancer Fund and this year will be even bigger with more than 20 firefighters and some Haddad Subaru employees.
"Something of this magnitude, we want to be involved," general manager Chris Kramek said. "We want to help."
There were smiles all around at the East Street auto dealer as an oversized check was passed to the Fire Department on Tuesday.
"I am really proud of these guys that they're stepping up and training for this," Chief Thomas Sammons said. "I did it last year and it's not easy but it's a lot of camaraderie and it gives you a goal to work for to keep you in shape during the winter."
Both Sammons and Leary will be competing in the event again this year. Leary, who has done the challenge for years, said it is as hard as you make it because some run the course and some pace themselves.
It starts at the ice level of TD Garden, goes up through the stands to the concourse, the promenade, the Verizon tower, and then back down. Participants take 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
All of the funds raised benefit occupational cancer support and stay in Massachusetts.
"This is great. I mean, you're helping the Fire Department and they need help," owner George Haddad said, adding that he hopes this inspires more community members to get involved.
Kramek explained that the partnership began after the Fire Department responded to a blaze on Haddad's property in September. The dealership will have "Pittsfield Fire, Making the Climb" hoodies and T-shirts available sale in person and online.
There will also be a billboard on East Street and the Fire Department will hold a boot drive.
"There is no agenda other than supporting these guys," Kramek said.
Tags: cancer support, charity, donations, fitness challenge,