Majestic Centre stair climb in memory of a mate

Police in their gear take their turn running up 621 steps in the Dean Gifford Memorial Stair Climb.
MONIQUE FORD

Police in their gear take their turn running up 621 steps in the Dean Gifford Memorial Stair Climb.

Firefighters, divers and a dog were only a few of the characters packing out the stairs of the tallest building in Wellington over the weekend.

More than a hundred people from children, to members of the Armed Offenders Squad, Dive Squad and ambulance drivers took part in a stair climb at the Majestic Centre in Willis St to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.

Firefighters donned their full gear, while divers strapped on their masks for the Dean Gifford Memorial Stair Climb, honouring a mate as they did so.

 

Constable Dean Gifford died  from a brain tumour in 2012.

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The stair climb is held in his honour and his friends, family and colleagues meet up and run up 27 floors, or 621 stairs, of the Majestic Centre on Willis St.

The dive squad went up in all their gear.
MONIQUE FORD

The dive squad went up in all their gear.

Gifford's widow  Penny drops by the event every year and their two children, Carter, 12 and Riley, 10, always join in the climb.

"If ever there was a cause Dean was going to be involved with, this is the one," she said.

When he was alive, Gifford had a long-standing relationship with the Children's Hospital.

After one of his first radiation treatments at Wellington Hospital, he stopped by the Children's Hospital to see how he could help, Penny said.

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"That's Deano down to a T - feeling like crap and still trying to do something for others."

Stair climb organiser Stephen Cross was a long-time friend of Gifford and said the event was a way to remember him and raise funds.

They started off in 2013 by doing a head shave, but the idea was soon dropped as a bare head in mid-winter wasn't everyone's idea of a good time.

"We weren't the smartest of cookies," Cross said.

They settled on the  stair climb instead.

Cross said they aimed to raise $20,000 for the Child Cancer Foundation. So far, they have raised $17,124 for the charity. 

 - Stuff

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