Stair climber

Borough firefighter to run Empire State Building one last time

Naugatuck Firefighter Tim Andrew climbs stairs in preparation for the Empire State Building run on Feb. 5. He has run the race 17 times to raise money for charity. –RA ARCHIVE

Naugatuck Firefighter Tim Andrew climbs stairs in preparation for the Empire State Building run on Feb. 5. He has run the race 17 times to raise money for charity. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — He has climbed close to 27,000 stairs for charity and plans to grind out another 1,576 before calling it quits.

Naugatuck firefighter Tim Andrew will run the Empire State Building for the 18th and final time on Feb. 5 to raise money for the Melanoma Research Foundation.

“There’s 600 runners from all over the world because it’s one of the most unique races in the world,” he said. “It’s grueling, but it’s awesome.”

Andrew, 60, has raised about $25,000 for charities with his ambitious runs. On top of climbing the 1,576 stairs of the Empire State Building 17 times, he has also climbed Mount Washington five times.

On Wednesday, he was practicing running stairs after just getting over the flu.

“I need to practice, or I won’t get anywhere,” he said.

At age 60, Andrew admits the building climbs and practices are getting harder each day. His back hurts. His legs hurt. His feet hurt.

But a little pain is nothing for Andrew, who has overcome cancer and still found a way to help others. On top of national organizations, Andrew has raised money for local charities and residents in need.

“I figure if I have the ability to help people, then I should do it,” he said.

“He’s (Tim Andrew) got a heart of gold. He’s always got a good cause to promote, and he’s always looking for someone to help.” –Naugatuck Fire Chief Ken Hanks

The charity he is funding this time, the Melanoma Research Foundation, is a nonprofit and the largest organization devoted to melanoma. It is committed to the support of medical research in finding treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma. The MRF also educates patients, caregivers and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, according to its website, www.melanoma.org.

Naugatuck Fire Chief Ken Hanks said he was not surprised to hear that Andrew is running the Empire State Building one more time.

“He’s got a heart of gold,” Hanks said. “He’s always got a good cause to promote, and he’s always looking for someone to help.”

To donate to Andrew’s Empire State Building run to raise money for the Melanoma Research Foundation, reach out to him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tim.andrew.3158. Or mail checks payable to Melanoma Research Foundation to Andrew at 325 Millville Ave., Naugatuck, CT, 06770.

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