Video Source: 2013 Special Olympics Arizona Over the Edge Challenge
If you see people rappelling down the 27-story CityScape Building in downtown Phoenix this Saturday, there is no cause for alarm. Matter of fact, it’s for a good cause, but specifically designed to take the rappellers out of their comfort zone.
The 2016 Over the Edge Challenge is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Arizona, and although it may seem a little crazy, it’s supposed to put the rappellers in the shoes of those with intellectual disabilities who encounter challenging adversities every day, particularly disabled athletes. The event, which requires the rappellers to raise a minimum of $1,000 each, sold out the last three years in a row.
Among those participating in this years event are City of Sedona Police Officer Jackie McQuaid, Sedona Fire District Chief Kris Kazian and Sedona Oak Creek School District Superintendent David Lykins. Each committed to fundraising a minimum of $1,000 and plan to rappel 415 feet down the CityScape Building in downtown Phoenix on Saturday.
As the Resource Officer at Red Rock High School, McQuaid is in the schools every day and knows how important funding is to providing physical activities for students with special needs. The Over the Edge Challenge helps to fund activities for 16,000 Special Olympics Arizona athletes, such as participation in year round sports training and athletics competition.
“Everyone probably thinks this endeavor is a little on the crazy side, but I am dedicated to challenging myself just as athletes of Special Olympics do on a daily basis. The fear that I will experience is only temporary while the positive impact on our community and this organization will last a lifetime,” said McQuaid.
Kazian also knows how important it is to support kids with special needs; his daughter Lexi Kazian had special needs and passed away 12 years ago. He now runs a non-profit, Helping from Heaven, in her honor. “The Special Olympics has an incredible impact on these athletes’ lives and I am proud to support them in honor of my daughter Lexi,” said Kazian.
The $1,000 raised by each rappeller covers the cost to support two athletes for an entire year at Special Olympics Arizona. The “Over the Edge” event draws participants from all over the state, and McQuaid, Kazian and Lykins decided to come together as the Sedona Team because they knew they could raise more money together than they could alone.
Each participant who rappels must raise at least $1,000 by December 4, 2016 to be eligible to go “Over the Edge” but additional donations may be made until December 10, 2016. To donate to this cause or learn more information about the “Over the Edge” event, visit the Sedona Team’s funding website at https://www.classy.org/fundraise/team?ftid=97001.