This daredevil event is not for the faint of heart. Ninety brave souls suited up for Special Olympic’s annual ‘Over the Edge’ event last week, rappelling 17 stories down a downtown Wilmington office building to raise funds for their favorite charity.
The only event of its kind in Delaware, ‘Over the Edge’ requires lots of courage and support. Friends, family and colleagues sponsor rappellers, and many were there to watch first hand as edgers carefully trekked 222 feet to ground level.
“It was awesome,” said first-time edger Rose Dagg, of Newark. “I didn’t think at my age that I would ever go down the side of a building. I loved it and can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Professional photographers coaxed rappellers into taking the 17-story leap of faith, providing words of encouragement to the wary but brave as they took their first steps. Second-timer Jennifer Bonham of Bear said going over the edge is thrilling, but scary. “The initial leaning back with your heals over the edge and then taking your first step off is the hardest part. However, the experience is so worth it. It is for such a great cause. The programs that Special Olympics provides benefits so many children and adults in Delaware. Helping support that program is well worth that first step off the building.”
This year’s event raised $125,000 for Special Olympics, bringing the total to more than $1 million in its eight years.
“Every year I get butterflies as I stand on that ledge ready to sit down and back off the roof,” said Mary Ann Evans of Smyrna, who has rappelled all eight years. “But the butterflies just remind me of my daughter Leanne and the other 4,200 athletes who I do this for. I will be back next year.”
Photos courtesy SODE