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Duncan Hall to host second-annual ND 110 climb to honor first responders

| Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Duncan Hall will host its signature charity event, ND 110, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Notre Dame Stadium Wednesday.

Founded by juniors Conor Milligan and Patrick Creaven, ND 110 is a 110-story stair climb in which participants raise money for Heart 9/11, a disaster relief organization founded by first responders in New York. The 110-story climb matches that of first responders during 9/11.

Milligan and Creaven established the charity event last year as an effort to honor emergency responders. Both of them have connections to New York and the events that unfolded on 9/11 –– especially Milligan, whose family knew a police officer, Ramon Suarez, who died in the rescue efforts. 

“Something I’ve always done on 9/11 is go [climb] 110 flights of stairs,” Milligan said. “And so we said … we can make this a fundraising activity for the hall because there’s a void in that front.” 

Last year, ND 110 raised over $2,000 with roughly 100 students and 20 local firefighters participating in the climb. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the event is open to only Notre Dame students this year; however, the organizers –– Creaven, Milligan and junior Sean Andersen –– are expecting close to 200 sign-ups. 

“We want to essentially double our benchmarks we set last year, so we want at least 200 participants and $4,000 in donations, and as of [Monday evening], we were [at] over 180 sign-ups,” Creaven said.

The restrictions placed on the climb by the pandemic forced the three Highlanders to adapt and be much more flexible throughout the planning process.

“There’s definitely a lot more hurdles,” Anderson said. “First of all, you have to keep everything socially distant and safe and follow all of the University’s guidelines. And then on top of that [we had] to keep an open line of communication because things change so quickly: Everything had to get switched to online, and we have to control the flow through the entire stadium.”

Photo courtesy of Duncan Hall

Participants climb the stairs during the inaugural ND 110 last year.

In order to comply with University guidelines, groups will be limited to 10 participants and will start every three minutes. Participants from outside the Notre Dame campus will be able to participate in a virtual climb to help the fundraising efforts. ND 110 facemasks and t-shirts will be for sale, with all proceeds going to Heart 9/11.

Milligan said ND 110 is the first student group to ever rent out the Stadium for student use, and because of this, they needed to look to the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, which plans Storm the Stadium, for guidance.

“Working with the stadium team was something new for everyone involved,” Milligan said. “Their event was similar, but also … we needed a playbook to go off of.”

Students are asked to arrive 10 minutes before their registration time and ensure they are complying with all of the University’s health guidelines.

Milligan said him and the other organizers are excited to be able to finally get ND 110 underway after months of planning.

“I hope to just be able to donate as much money as we can to [Heart 9/11],” Milligan said. “We wouldn’t be working on it if we didn’t think it was one of the best places you could put your money or your time.”

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