Join us on April 8 and 9 for WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature. By taking on Toronto’s tallest challenge, you’re taking 1,776 meaningful steps towards a future where wildlife, nature and people thrive.
Climbing 1,776 steps up the CN Tower is impressive. Now imagine doing it for the 10th time.
On April 9, veteran climber Scott Allen will complete his 10th ascent in support of WWF-Canada, attempting to beat his personal record of 16 minutes and 19 seconds.
As a runner, cyclist and ultimate frisbee enthusiast, the service management analyst at Sun Life Financial loves a good challenge. So when colleagues invited him to join their CN Tower Climb team in 2005, they didn’t have to ask twice.
This year, he and colleagues from Sun Life Financial’s Waterloo and Toronto offices – including senior systems analyst Rob Wright, who has been part of the squad since 2009 – have once again formed the “Quads of Fire” team.
While Allen is keen to improve his individual time, Wright enjoys the chance to connect with coworkers. Tackling the tower together creates a group bond, with speedier members gathering at the top to cheer their teammates over the finish line.
For them, the event is about more than fitness, more than corporate spirit. It’s a chance to support an important cause. “Protecting the environment is a big part of our sustainability strategy at Sun Life, and something, as employees, we’re all passionate about,” Wright says.
And at the end of the day, Wright also gets to make his eco-passionate daughter proud. “Everything that I do that is helping the environment, is helping animals, is helping nature – my daughter is just all over it,” he says.
Between 2009 and 2016, Quads of Fire has raised $27,000 for conservation. Over the years, Allen has personally raised more than $8,300 by selling cupcakes, raffling off polar bear stuffies and sending well-timed e-blasts to his co-workers, inviting them to make a donation. “This is a cause that people really like to contribute to,” he says.
Meanwhile, Wright has become an expert at recruiting fellow climbers, telling his colleagues “If I can do it, you can do it.” Over the years, he has persuaded a broad array of Sun Lifers to join him, including members of senior management.
The keys to recruiting, he says, are starting early, putting up plenty of posters and personally inviting colleagues to take up the challenge. This year, he’s also arranging a visit from the WWF Panda to generate extra interest.
Whatever it takes to get there, both agree helping polar bears and other wildlife while giving their quads a demanding workout, building camaraderie and earning eco-bragging rights makes it all worth it.