Physical therapy doctoral students complete fundraising initiatives for the American Lung Association

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UIndy’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program has been completing personal service initiatives to raise money for the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb, a fundraising event in which participants walk or run up flights of stairs. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the students hosted the “Full Body Workout for a Cause and Smoothie Bar” event to raise funds for the Fight For Air Climb.

Doctorate of physical therapy student Elaina Voss hosted the one-hour full body workout class as her contribution. She asked participants for a $3 donation with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the ALA. According to Voss, every year the first-year DPT students participate in the Fight for Air Climb fundraising event as part of their Health Promotions course with Associate Professor of the Krannert School of Physical Therapy Anne Mejia-Downs. Students in the course can choose to climb on the day of the event, volunteer at the event or come up with a way to raise money for the fundraiser on their own accord.

“Being a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, I knew that hosting an exercise class and smoothie bar would be an easy idea, and I knew that it would easily attract participants,” Voss said. “As physical therapy students, it is vital for us to promote health and wellness to everyone. Exercise and staying active is so important and is the cheapest medicine you will ever come across. Participating in this fundraiser every year is just another way we get a chance to promote being active and supporting those who don’t get that chance.”

Her classmate, doctorate of physical therapy student Lindsay Morr, collaborated with her on this event by hosting a smoothie bar for participants and other campus community members. Anyone who participated in the workout class received a smoothie free of charge. If not, the person had the option of purchasing a smoothie for a $2 donation. Smoothie flavors included strawberry banana and chocolate peanut butter. According to Voss, classmates in the DPT Class of 2019 donated all of the items needed for the smoothie bar.

According to Morr, students involved in fundraising for the Fight for Air Climb are encouraged to organize their own projects to meet a $100 fundraising goal. Morr indicated that students have full creative capacity to come up with whatever project they want.

“I love making smoothies, and I was available, so I chose to get involved in this way,” Morr said. “By getting involved … we get to bring awareness to UIndy in general and not just those who are directly impacted.”

Mejia-Downs participated in the full body workout class and is involved with the American Lung Association in various ways. Mejia-Downs has completed the Fight For Air Climb for the last seven years and will participate again this year.

“This a way for me to get students involved in a way that is fun,” Mejia-Downs said. “…. The purpose [of Mejia-Downs’ class] is to get them talking, moving, climbing more stairs and to become aware of the fact that lung cancer is the biggest killer among all people, men and women.”

According to the American Lung Association, the Fight for Air Climb was held in the 47-story Salesforce Tower building on March 4 and the funds raised support research, education and patient programs to help the millions of Americans impacted by asthma, COPD, lung cancer and other lung diseases.

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