Miss A Columnist

Colleen McNicholas is a Chicago South Sider who frequently wanders the streets of the windy city. She is always on the lookout for the best food and adventures this city has to offer. She is a Columbia College Chicago grad and is a marketing/PR professional. A few years ago, Colleen realized how many limitations she was putting on her life and decided she needed a change. She created a bucket list back in 2011 and has been following that bucket list ever since. Now, Colleen finally feels like she is living the life she has always wanted. When not working, volunteering, or trying new restaurants, she enjoys playing the guitar, fashion, going to concerts, running races, and meeting new people. Colleen is also a big thrill seeker: from extreme zip lining, to helicopter rides, to whale watching in Alaska, all the way to skydiving. Colleen wants to inspire people to take risks, try new things, and enjoy every second of life.

Recap: Aon Step Up For Kids 2014 In Chicago

Climber Paula Weissman signing the Aon T-Shirt after her inspirational climb.
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

On Sunday, January 26, 2014, The 17th Annual Aon Step Up for Kids took place at the Aon Center. Benefits from the event went to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. All proceeds supported the fundraising for K.I.D.S.S. for Kids. A turn out of more than 3,000 climbers came out to climb 80 floors/1,643 steps to support this wonderful cause.

Over 15 elite climbers across the country participated. Violet Kacergisserved as the 2014 Patient Champion and kicked off the climbing event. Her team raised more than $20,000 for the event. Other teams in attendance represented first responders, schools and Chicago-area corporations.

The event had quite a celebratory finish line in the Mid-America Club. Each climber was greeted with cheers and water after their final step. Activities included a live band, massage therapists, snacks, and a yoga station. I had the pleasure of speaking to climber Cathy Eckel who said, “It was such a great experience! It is so awesome to see all of the different ages and fitness levels who wanted to climb the stairs.”

Climbers Cathy Eckel and Michele Knowles.
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

All steppers who participated at this event deserve a pat on the back for climbing up one of Chicago’s tallest buildings, as well as their tremendous efforts made to raise money in order to better the lives of others.






A sweet cheerleader ready to greet climbers as they enter the top of the building.
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)


Fire Fighters Doug Schick and Anthony McMeel and Anthony’s Wife Joellyn McMeel came out to venture the climb.
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

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