Family of four firefighters climb Sky Tower for funds

FUNDRAISING FIREFIGHTERS: Kevin, Louisa, Luke and Venessa Ferguson at the Firefighter Stair challenge at the Sky Tower in Auckland.
MICHAEL BRADLEY/Sunday Star-Times
FUNDRAISING FIREFIGHTERS: Kevin, Louisa, Luke and Venessa Ferguson at the Firefighter Stair challenge at the Sky Tower in Auckland.

A family of four firefighters hit the steps of the Sky Tower today to raise money for the blood and leukaemia foundation.

The Ferguson family, all volunteer firefighters from West Auckland, joined over 400 firefighters to climb 51 flights of stairs for the The Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge.

Mother, Venessa, 61, an accounts manager, has been a volunteer firefighter for the Karekare Rural Fire brigade for over 20 years. Her husband, Kevin, 60, a semi-retired consultant has been a firefighter for the same brigade for 25 years.

Their children followed in their parents footsteps, with Luke, 23, becoming a firefighter for Karekare eight years ago and daughter Louisa recently joining the nearby Waiatarua Fire Brigade with her partner Gareth.

Louisa who has an eight month old son, Caleb, climbed with the Waiatarua fire brigade with Caleb and Gareth watching on.

''She's only been training for a while so she's done really well. Her husband Gareth was there, he did it a few years ago and he felt he should let her have a go and he would look after the baby,'' Venessa said.

The Ferguson family has already raised $1200 collectively for the Blood and Leukaemia foundation and have more money on its its way.

''It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant the fact we were all doing it, it was probably the one and only time. I don't think we'll all be doing it again.

''I am really privileged to have been a part of it. The Blood and Leukaemia foundation is such a worthwhile cause and we got really motivated to do the fundraising for them.''

Lee Warn, 34 a trainee teacher from Auckland set off on his challenge at 5:30am this morning.

Warn, a paraplegic, did the climb with his hands, finishing in 1hour 50 minutes.

Auckland firefighter Tony Scott said last week Warn is an inspiration to the firefighters.

"They know how hard it is to do normally, let alone on your arms. He has the most amazing staying power, it's phenomenal."

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