News Releases

June 01, 2009

Bennington Battle Monument Hosts Charity Climb

American Lung Association Vermont Offering Free Bus Service From Burlington

BENNINGTON, Vt. – History meets health when a charity stair climbing race comes to the Bennington Battle Monument early next month.

On Saturday June 6 at 11 a.m. the monument will host an event in conjunction with the American Lung Association in Vermont to raise money to fight lung disease and promote lung health.

“I’m pleased that one of our state historic sites will host such an important event,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “I have encouraged all Vermonters to be more active, and hope they and visitors alike will take advantage of this chance to improve their health and raise money for a very worthy cause.”

“This is a really wonderful event, and we’re pleased to open the stairwell at the Bennington Battle monument to the public for the first time in roughly 30 years,” said John Dumville, Historic Sites Operations Chief for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

The 438 steps of the monument are normally closed – the only way for the public to access the observation level at the top of the 306-foot obelisk is via the elevator – but participants in the first annual “Climb the Bennington Monument” will be given a rare opportunity to see this part of the structure.

“We’re very grateful to the Division for Historic Preservation for allowing us to use the monument,” said Danielle Pinders, Director of Development for the American Lung Association in Vermont.

“This event is part of the Climb Of Your Life program organized by the American Lung Association of New England,” Pinders said. “Participants can race or walk up the steps to raise money to fight lung disease, while improving their own lung health.”

Other New England events have taken place in skyscrapers in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester, Mass.; Providence, R.I.; Hartford, Conn.; and Manchester, N.H., and the final event is scheduled for November in Stamford, Conn.

Pinders said this is the only event in the entire country to take place at an historic monument.

“Skyscrapers are the most common venue,” she said. “This is really a unique event.”

At the end of the climb, participants will experience beautiful views from the observation level of historic Bennington as well as Massachusetts and New York.

Built to commemorate the August 16th, 1777 Battle of Bennington, this Vermont State Historic Site opened to the public in 1891, some four years after construction began in 1887.

The Monument, which is the tallest structure in Vermont, was constructed on the site of a Continental military storehouse.

Driven by a need for ammunition, food and arms, British General John Burgoyne decided to attack the town of Bennington and capture the storehouse, only to be defeated by General John Stark and Colonel Seth Warner leading the Green Mountain Boys.

The fee to enter the climb is $35 and participants must also raise at least $65 in pledges to be turned in on the day of the event.

In an effort to promote participation and pollution reduction, “green” bus transportation from Burlington to Bennington will be provided courtesy of Premier Coach Co. Inc.

In addition, there will be a post-climb party at Madison Brewing Co. Pub & Restaurant at 428 Main Street in Bennington to celebrate accomplishments with family, friends, or co-workers. Free appetizers will be available at 12:30 p.m. for participants and awards will be presented to the fastest climbers/teams and top fundraisers at 2:00 p.m.

To reserve seats on the free bus from Burlington, email Danielle Pinders at dpinders@lungne.org by May 29th or call (802) 876-6861.

Online registration for the climb closes at midnight on Wednesday, June 3rd and will be available again on Saturday, June 6th at 10:00 a.m.

To learn more or to register, visit: www.climbofyourlife.org

Further information about the Bennington Battle Monument is available online at www.historicvermont.org or by calling (802) 447-0550.

Source: Agency of Commerce and Community Development
Last Updated at: June 01, 2009 16:18:05