‘Over the Edge’ Fundraiser Helps People Abseil Down One of Grand Rapids’ Tallest Buildings



GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – If you’re looking to get out of your comfort zone this weekend, how about rappelling down one of the tallest buildings in Grand Rapids?

FOX 17’s Michael Martin and Lauren Kummer took the plunge “on the edge” at Bridgewater Place on Friday ahead of Saturday’s event.

“Our ‘Over the Edge’ event is our fifth annual event,” said Denise Durkee, director of Easterseals West Michigan. “This will be our second year doing it at Bridgewater Place on the beautiful Varnum Bridge.”

This is the fifth year that people have rappelled 17 floors to raise funds and raise awareness at Easterseals West Michigan.

Easterseals provides mental health services to adults and children. We have trauma assessments, we have autism services, we have programs for veterans and the military, we have programs for our farmers, and then we have speech therapy, occupational therapy and our children’s mental health issues, so we have a wide variety of services, ”said Durkee.

This is their first fundraising event since February 2020, before the pandemic. 60 people are registered to participate.

“First, they sign a waiver – very important – sign the waiver, then they will be taken to a staging room where they will be fitted with their safety gear and harnesses. Then they will be right here on the bridge. , and we’ve got a training tripod, so they’ll learn to operate the levers on the train. Then once you’re ready to do that, we’ll take them to the edge and they’ll rappelling down, ”Durkee said.

To participate, it costs $ 1,000. Many attendees have secured sponsorships or raised funds for months to experience the adrenaline rush of seeing Grand Rapids from a different perspective.

“Our goal is to raise $ 135,000 for Easterseals. This money will stay here in Western Michigan to help our programs and services locally. The last time I checked we were at $ 133,000. We are really very close, ”said Durkee.

If you would like to participate, you can visit the Varnum Tower at Bridgewater Place on Saturday to register.

READ MORE: Mental Health America says teens and teens have highest rates of depression during pandemic

READ MORE: How Healthy Conversations And Meals With Your Kids Have a Positive Impact on Their Mental Health

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