Sheetz human resources technology manager Bill Rabold was a 10th grader at Altoona High School when the 9/11 attacks happened, and he remembers the shock he felt watching the twin towers collapsing on television.
The event garnered respect and appreciation from the firefighters, police and others who helped New York City that day and the military who sprang into action soon after in response to the attacks, a- he declared.
The respect and appreciation have not diminished in the two decades since – a continuity reflected on Thursday in Rabold’s participation in a Sheetz company event that was designed three years ago to honor speakers from the September 11 and remembering the victims of the attacks.
Because the World Trade Center towers had 110 stories, the event ideally invites attendees to climb 110 flights of stairs — though in reality, attendance has taken various forms since 2019, according to officials at Sheetz headquarters at Claysburg.
On Thursday, Rabold was part of a three-person team that recorded a total of 110 thefts at the head office.
Rabold himself made 30 in stages, between meetings and other obligations.
This is the fourth time Rabold has taken part in the annual event.
“Every year I look back and reflect” he said.
The headquarters building has three floors, so there is no way to do a full continuous climb.
The closest approximation would be to ride all the way up and back 37 times, Sheetz spokesman Nick Ruffner said.
And going down the stairs doesn’t count, he says.
Like Thursday’s event, the 2019 one was in-person, but the two interim releases were held virtually, due to COVID-19, said Leah Baxter, manager of the Shwellness Center at the company’s Claysburg complex.
Participants in those middle years took their steps from home or other locations and recorded what they accomplished online — a method of participation that is still available, she said.
Sheetz IT specialist Katherine Hainley did her version of the stair step Thursday outside on a nearby hill topped by a water tower – going up five times and down in between.
Each ascent is about a quarter mile, said Breana Veckov, the center’s fitness manager.
Hainley participated in honor of her late father, a Marine who served in the Korean War.
“I like to try to help in any way I can when it comes to service,” Hailey said.
Her effort on Thursday was a variation of what she often does at work – running or working out at or near the wellness centre.
She started running at 40, 12 years ago, to help manage stress after her father fell ill.
The workout keeps working to clear your head and collect your thoughts, said Allegheny Trailrunners board member Hainley.
“Only time to relax,” she added.
The Mirror’s staff writer, William Kibler, is at 814-949-7038.