Step Up For Kids Event Reaches New Heights In Its 20th Year

CHICAGO (CBS) — A downtown stairclimb that raises money for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital is reaching new heights.

The hospital held its 20th annual ‘Step Up For Kids’ event on Sunday at the Aon Center, benefiting the Lurie Children’s Department of Family Services. Organizers said 3,000 people came out Sunday morning to climb 80 flights of stairs. WBBM’s Nancy Harty reports.

Participant Chris Lupo was lying on the floor after making the 80-flight trek. The Elmhurst dad and his family have been climbing for the last 13 years. The reason they climb: Lupo’s son Jack died of neuroblastoma 13-years ago.

Wearing a blue shirt with the five-year-old’s picture on it, Lupo said the hospital was fantastic during the year and a half of chemo, radiation and stem cell treatments that Jack endured.

“He went through a lot for a year and a half,” Lupo said. “Our family went through a lot. Lurie Children’s has been fantastic.”

The hospital hopes to raise $1-million each year, for the next five years. (WBBM/Nancy Harty)

The hospital hopes to raise $1-million each year, for the next five years. (WBBM/Nancy Harty)

The event raised $670,000 on Sunday. Marketing Director of the Lurie children’s foundation Amanda Salhoot said the money goes to non-medical services, families can use while their child is in the hospital.

“We have continued to see the event grow with the number of people that are stepping and the money we are raising,” Salhoot said. “Our goal is to get to $1-million each year, within the next five years.”

The hospital’s “Family Life Services” include art, music, social workers, education and other services that families can use while they’re in the hospital.

The event ran from 8:30am until noon Sunday.

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