Elija Ellison and Jessica May represented the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department in the BC Lung Association’s Climb the Wall Virtual Challenge in February. (BC Lung Association photo)

Elija Ellison and Jessica May represented the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department in the BC Lung Association’s Climb the Wall Virtual Challenge in February. (BC Lung Association photo)

Lake Cowichan firefighters step up for virtual climb

Elija Ellison and Jessica May raise $820 for BC Lung Association

The BC Lung Association’s Climb the Wall event took a different form this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but two members of the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department stepped up anyway.

In most years, firefighters from across B.C. get together at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver where they put on full gear and air tanks and climb up 42 storeys of stairs to raise money for the BC Lung Association. They couldn’t do it quite that way this year, so the Climb the Wall Virtual Challenge was created. Participants downloaded an app, then counted their steps and completed other challenges throughout the month of February.

Among the participants were Elija Ellison and Jessica May of Lake Cowichan, both veterans of the actual Climb the Wall event, who weren’t going to take a year off.

“It’s easy to say that Jess and myself both like a challenge,” Ellison told the BC Lung Association. “We like to get involved as much as possible, while still working full time and caring for our families. Because that’s what we want our kids to know and do, always strive to be the best you can and have fun doing it.”

This year’s event wasn’t limited to firefighters, but allowed for civilian participation as well, so Ellison and May, who each have two kids, dragged their youngsters along.

They appreciated having an extra incentive to be active and demonstrate a healthy lifestyle to their families.

“It was great because it kept us motivated on a general day-to-day basis,” said Ellison.

The two firefighters raised a combined $820 for the BC Lung Association, which provides support for people with lung conditions ranging from asthma to cancer.

May has competed in Climb the Wall three times, twice winning the award for fastest female, and Ellison has been once before.

“It’s 42 storeys of stairs; you’re pretty exhausted by the end of it,” Ellison recalled. “It’s an awesome experience.”

That doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy the virtual event.

“We both loved every minute of it,” Ellison said. “So this year it was easy for us to make the decision to do the challenge virtually. We love to help in any way and feel honoured to represent our department.”

Both firefighters plan to return to Vancouver as soon as the actual Climb the Wall event is back on.

“If they have it again, we will definitely be there,” Ellison said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The old Yount school in Youbou has stood empty for years, but now a group has plans to turn it into a mixed-use property with affordable housing and tourist services. (Submitted)
Group sets sights on tranforming old Yount school property in Youbou

School District 79 has already commenced a process to sell the school through a formal proposal call

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Most Read