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April 4, 2014

More than 660 participants from 15 states climb 72 stories in historic event; 100% of donations support the nation’s most brilliant young scientists, pursuing cures for all forms of cancer

New York, NY (April 4, 2014) - More than 700 people – from those affected by cancer to professional stair climbers – took part in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation’s first ever Runyon Up stair climb at the new 4 World Trade Center building on April 3rd, raising more than $173,000 for young cancer researchers.

Hundreds of corporate teams and individual participants, ranging in age from 14 to 71 years old, hailed from across New York City and from 15 states, from coast to coast. They climbed the new tower’s 72 stories – all 1,632 steps – over the course of nearly four hours in the evening event. The fastest male climber was Tim Donahue, 44, of Manhattan, NY, who took just 8 minutes and 56 seconds to climb 1,632 steps. The top female climber was Shari Klarfeld, 33, of Plainview, NY, who completed the climb in 11 minutes and 17 seconds.

“We thank Silverstein Properties for partnering with us at this historic moment in time. 4 World Trade Center is a symbol of innovation and resilience, and was an appropriate venue to champion commitment to the cutting-edge researchers who are making the medical breakthroughs of tomorrow,” said Lorraine W. Egan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. “All proceeds from Runyon Up will allow us to support the best and brightest young cancer researchers in the nation. Our participants help make life-saving discoveries.”

The first heat of elite climbers at this milestone event launched at 6:30pm, followed by heats of recreational climbers. Runyon Up offered three different registration options: Participants could climb to the 54th Floor or 72nd Floor, or opt for the virtual climb and take the elevator. Participants paid a $40 entry fee and raised at least $72 – $1 per floor of the building – in support of cancer research. Participants had their own online donation pages to make fundraising easy, and you can still support them until April 30th at

Scientists funded by Damon Runyon also were on hand – with more than a half dozen participating in the event - to meet and congratulate participants. Participants included a retired police officer who worked at the 9/11 site, a group of firefighters from North Hunterdon, N.J., who climbed in full gear, parents, spouses and friends of those affected by cancer, professional stair climbers and marathoners.

The event marked a pivotal point in the history of the World Trade Center site. In November, officials held a ribbon-cutting at 4 World Trade Center, which will soon be the sixth-tallest building in New York City and recently was named Curbed’s Building of the Year. For most people, this was their first view inside the 2.3 million square foot building, which is not expected to see tenants – including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - until 2015.

As always, 100% of all donations raised by participants will directly support the nation’s most brilliant young scientists, pursuing cures for all forms of cancer. Damon Runyon holds a 5K inside Yankee Stadium each August, which has raised nearly $3 million to date.


In addition to Silverstein Properties’ support, other event sponsors include CBRE, AIG, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Pepsi, Cabot Creamery, Dave’s Hoagies, GoGo squeeZ, GuS – Grown-up Soda, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, SkinnyPop Popcorn, Utz, Vita Coco, Vita Organic Foods, and Whole Foods.

> View photos from the event 

> Read coverage from the New York Daily News.

> Read coverage from the Wall Street Journal.

> View more photos from the Associated Press


To accelerate breakthroughs, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation provides today’s best young scientists with funding to pursue innovative research. The Foundation has gained worldwide prominence in cancer research by identifying outstanding researchers and physician-scientists. Twelve scientists supported by the Foundation have received the Nobel Prize, seven others have received National Medals of Science, and 65 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Since its founding in 1946, Damon Runyon has invested nearly $275 million and funded more than 3,420 young scientists.  One hundred percent of all donations to the Foundation are used to support cutting-edge scientific research. Its administrative and fundraising costs are paid from its Damon Runyon Broadway Tickets and endowment. For more information visit


Kim Kubert

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation