Special Olympics Delaware offers a what could be considered a rather unique view of downtown Wilmington
Special Olympics Delaware goes all-out when it comes to providing year-round sports training and competition for more than 4,200 Delawareans with intellectual disabilities.
One of its most unique fundraising events is “Over the Edge,” where fearless – and not so fearless – participants take the challenge to rappel 17 stories from the top of an office building. Each contributor has to raise at least $1,100 to earn a spot so they may ride a rope down the outside of that building at 300 Delaware Avenue, Wilmington.
There were 90 participants, called “edgers” taking the challenge in 2018. In the eight years of the event, 618 people have ridden the rope, raising more than $1 million.
When Special Olympics Delaware’s public relations officer Jon Buzby offered the opportunity to become an edger on a special media event, well, I couldn’t turn that down.
Full disclosure here: I’m an admitted acrophobic. Although it never bothered me to peer outside the window of a C-5 at 40,000 feet in the air, I tend to get the heebie-jeebies when perched on the roof of my own home.
Even a month ago, simply peering over the edge of a 222-foot-tall building would have seemed unthinkable. To actually go over that edge would have bordered on insanity.
But I did it on May 8. Securely harnessed and fastened, and with a bit of training under my belt, over I went. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, provided I kept my eyes ahead of me and didn’t look down too often. I did get stuck about halfway down after I traveled a bit too quickly and a safety lock stopped me. It took a few anxious minutes hanging about 100 feet above the Wilmington concrete, to get things moving again.
Personally, I’d recommend the experience. Even if you’re still uncomfortable when climbing up a ladder, you know you’ve accomplished a personal milestone.
And you’ve done something on behalf of a great cause that’s helped – and will continue to help – a lot of your fellow Delawareans.