Fundraising takes a leap Over The Edge
Hannah Breeland, Reporter
October 31, 2012
Filed under Features
Bakersfield residents were given the opportunity to rappel down a building for charity. In an event called Over The Edge, participants rappelled off Stockdale Tower on 5060 California Ave. on Oct. 26-27, all of the proceeds went to Boy Scouts of America.
The Southern Sierra Council, BSA, put on the event, along with Over The Edge USA which is a special events company that provides a different fundraising opportunity. OTE is behind rappelling events all over Canada and the US.
Participants were invited to raise pledges in exchange for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of going over the edge of a local building. Cindy Basham, assistant to BSA president, went into detail over the decision.
“The point of the OTE is that it’s off of the tallest building in your city,” said Basham. “That’s why we chose the Stockdale Tower.”
The building is 176 feet, 12 stories tall. To participate in the event, each “edger” had to raise $1,000 in their name for BSA. Participants had to be at least 14 with parental consent for minors and every edger had to sign a waiver.
“There were a few people who just wrote a check on the spot,” said Carolyn Zullo, marketing specialist for BSA. “Others had been raising money for a couple months. We had a total of 34 edgers, and of course the rope volunteers participated, so about 40.
“We contacted the owner of Stockdale Tower, Teri Moreland, if we could do the event at his building,” said Zullo.
“He agreed and in exchange would have the opportunity to rappel. Same with the scaffold that needed to be built on the roof since it is not flat but has a wall making it impossible for people to repel because they would need to climb up and our OTE technicians couldn’t oversee the safety, so in exchange for the scaffold they received slots to rappel.”
OTE technician Vince Hesley’s job was strapping everyone into their gear.
“I can tell when people are nervous and I reassure people during the whole process,” said Hesley.
Hesley also monitored the rope volunteers.
Scott Deputy, the OTE technician on the roof, hooked up the edgers and talked them through the whole process. While monitoring the participants as they descended, he would give encouragement.
“This is safer than people think and I’ve done this at greater heights,” said Deputy.
Bashan discussed how the funds raised would help the BSA.
“The money is going to camping equipment, hiking gear for our boys,” said Bashan.
“We try our best to keep them active and away from the games. To get them outdoors it’s harder with Internet, TV, video games and all those hand-held game devices.”
“I’m at least not the oldest guy out here,” said participant Danny Dane. “There’s a 78-year-old doing it too. My wife talked me into it. I’m not that great with heights so I’m not looking forward to it like my wife is.
“I think if the bird (condors mascot) can rappel off the building then I should be able to,” said Dane laughing.