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OCTOBER 2014 - Stair Climb
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Stair Climb for Los Angeles

by Ruth  D. Kahn

On September 19, 2014, WLALA Board Member and Deputy City Attorney Shaun Dabby Jacobs and I had the thrill of participating in the 21st Annual Ketchum-Downtown YMCA’s Stair Climb for Los Angeles.  It was Shaun’s first major stair climb. As soon as she reached the top (in just under 21 minutes, I will add), Shaun exclaimed “this was great! Let’s do this again next year!”  

Together with more than 3,500 other participants, the two of us climbed 1,500 stairs to the top of the West Coast’s tallest building, the US Bank Tower.  Not only is it the tallest building in Los Angeles, it is the tallest building West of the Mississippi River!  How tall is it?  Well, I will tell you.  It is 75 stories or, more precisely, 1,108 feet.  I am proud that we climbed to the top, finishing well within the top half of our divisions and overall.  Most participants climbed to the top in 20 to 45 minutes.  It truly was an exhilarating experience!

In addition to the YMCA staff, the Stair Climb was supported by hundreds of volunteers, the community, friends and families. The downtown area was filled with the same level of energy and adrenaline that is felt when the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA championship. The event raised more than $460,000 for the Stuart M. Ketchum Downtown YMCA’s programs that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

I was pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie and friendships that developed in stairwells between the 35th and 45th floors and beyond. Likewise, I was impressed with the courtesy and respect that the stair climbers showed for one another. Thanks to the 21st Annual Ketchum Downtown YMCA Stair Climb, I am stronger and in better condition than I have been for years, and, like Shaun, I look forward to doing this again next year.


Ruth D. Kahn is a Complex Litigation Attorney with the Law Offices of Melissa M. Ballard.

 and is a Past President of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.