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Doug Dorsey who will be participating in his 31st WFF CN Tower Climb on April 20. He’s raised $50,000 so far and plans to keep going.JEFFHO/Supplied

The organizer: Doug Dorsey

The pitch: Raising $50,000 and climbing

The cause: World Wildlife Fund

When Doug Dorsey was a teenager he took a group of visiting relatives to Toronto’s CN Tower and thought he’d impress them by climbing the stairs.

“I showed up with my tracksuit on figuring, yeah, I’ll just climb the stairs rather than take the elevator,” Mr. Dorsey, 63, recalled from his home in Toronto. “Well, to my disappointment I found out you can’t just do that.”

He managed to fulfill his dream a few years later when the World Wildlife Fund launched its CN Tower Climb for Nature, an annual fundraising event where participants run, or walk, up the tower’s 1,776 steps.

“‘Here I go’, I thought. I can finally satisfy my childhood ambition and raise some money for a good cause in the process,” he said.

He has been participating in the annual tower climb ever since and on April 20 he will make his 31st trip up the stairs. “I’ve been there because I have a deep concern about the environment,” he said.

Growing up outside Toronto, Mr. Dorsey developed an appreciation for wildlife while exploring the nearby streams and forests. Raising money for WWF “is a great opportunity to be involved in a small way with helping support the sustaining of that kind of habitat,” he said.

Mr. Dorsey, who is an architect, used to complete the climb in under 15 minutes. But he now does it in a more leisurely 17 minutes and he’s sometimes accompanied by his daughter Abby Docken. More importantly for him is the $50,000 he has raised in total so far for WWF.

He doesn’t do any special preparation for the event and advises first-time climbers to start slow and keep a steady pace. “I always encourage people; ‘Don’t be scared, don’t be daunted by it. If you can walk to the local grocery store, and back, you’re fine,’” he said.

And his tower climbing days are far from over. “I’ll keep on going as long as the ticker is still ticking and I can enjoy it.”

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