November 9, 2007

‘Go Vertical Chicago’ Stair Climb Steps Off Sunday at Sears Tower

CHICAGO, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Forget the building's 104 elevators. Climbers will hit the stairs at Sears Tower on Sunday, Nov. 11, for the 6th annual "Go Vertical Chicago" Stair Climb.

This year 2,000 participants are registered and ready to climb the longest stair climb in the world. The event is expected to raise $350,000 for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

As the world's longest indoor stair climb, "Go Vertical Chicago" totals 2,109 steps, 103 floors and 1,353 vertical feet. Participants start in the lobby of the Sears Tower and climb 103 stories to its famous Skydeck observatory for the best views in Chicago.

Climbers also get the satisfaction of having raised money to support the most brilliant and creative young scientists in the nation who are dedicated to finding new cures for all forms of cancer.

"Go Vertical Chicago" raises funds for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, which has been providing grants to the nation's most promising cancer researchers since 1946. One hundred percent of the money raised by this event will go directly to fund cancer research.

"The number of Go Vertical Chicago participants continues to grow year after year, as more people step up to the challenge of climbing Sears Tower to raise money so we can provide grants to cancer researchers," said Lorraine Egan, Executive Director of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. "While this is such a great event, I hope someday to say that it's no longer needed because research has found a cure for cancer. Until then, our supporters will keep climbing toward the sky."

The climb begins at 7 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 for elite climbers. Teams and individual runners will begin their ascent in groups between 7:10 a.m. and 11 a.m. in 7-second intervals. Everyone completing the climb receives a medal and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers.

Sponsors for "Go Vertical Chicago 2007" include: U.S. Equities Realty, The Sears Tower Skydeck, Sears Tower, The Metropolitan Club, Ernst & Young, Burson-Marsteller, Plaza Property Advisors, Inplex. Allied Barton and ABM Lakeside.

About the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Founded in 1946, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation identifies extraordinary young scientists and encourages them to commit themselves to ending cancer's devastating legacy. Since its creation, the Foundation has invested nearly $200 million to fund the nation's most promising young cancer researchers. Among the 3,000 researchers who have received funding from the Foundation, 11 have won the Nobel Prize for their work.

The namesake of the Foundation, Damon Runyon, was a legendary journalist and sportswriter in the early 20th Century. Runyon is best known for his "Broadway Stories," which were transformed into the hit musical "Guys and Dolls." After Runyon's death from cancer in 1946, famed journalist and radio personality Walter Winchell took to the airwaves to raise support for cancer research in memory of his friend. From that effort, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation was born.

About Sears Tower

Sears Tower is the premier corporate office building in Chicago, offering more than 3.8 million square feet of office and retail space. Located in Chicago's West Loop at 233 S. Wacker Drive, the skyscraper is easily accessible by the commuter rail stations, highways and all forms of public transportation.

Standing 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall, Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America and an integral part of Chicago's culture. Originally opened in September 1973 as the corporate headquarters for Sears, Roebuck and Co., the building is now a multi-tenant office building, home to more than 100 different companies, including prominent financial services firms, law firms and insurance companies.

Many Sears Tower offices boast spectacular vistas of Chicago, with views that can reach nearly 50 miles on a clear day. Sears Tower also boasts tremendous infrastructure, which includes enormous telecommunications capacity and unsurpassed electrical capacity and reliability. The Sears Tower Skydeck on the 103rd floor attracts more than 1 million visitors per year.

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

CONTACT: Mark Spencer of Burson-Marsteller, +1-312-596-3628,[email protected], for Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation