No, that isn’t Spiderman and his cohorts who will be rappelling down the side of the Genetti Hotel this Saturday, but participants in the Over the Edge fundraiser designed to raise money for several area nonprofit organizations. Between 70 and 80 people are expected to participate in the event that will take place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Since 2018, in collaboration with the River Valley Regional YMCA and the YWCA Northcentral PA, Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation has been a co-host of Over the Edge: Williamsport.
The collaborative event is a fundraising partnership between the three nonprofits. It allows members of the community to voluntarily commit to raise at least $1,000 for the nonprofit of their choice — or have it divided evenly among all three — in a daring exchange to rappel down a building.
The nonprofits first banded together in 2018 to bring the event to the city, and since then, have collectively raised more than $180,000 between the three of them for their respective communities.
“This event is a great opportunity for our community to get involved and help provide support for each of these three great organizations,” Greg Hayes, Executive Director and Head of Public Relations for the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation, told Webb Weekly. “It’s a perfect way to engage each of our stakeholders and, in turn, give them a fun, thrilling experience. The education foundation is happy to have been able to partner again with River Valley Regional YMCA and YWCA Northcentral PA. In particular, the foundation is grateful to those who have spent the last several weeks and months fundraising on our behalf to secure their rappel spot, and we’re thankful for all of those who have donated to the individual efforts that collectively support the work we do. There’s still time for the community to show their support for these folks, so we hope they’re able to do so either by making a gift to any of our participants or simply showing up as a spectator to cheer them on.”
Jessica Servano, Development Director for the River Valley YMCA, stated, “For 2021, we are looking at sending approximately 80 rappelers Over the Edge. We have seen great support from individuals wanting to rappel to those who have stepped up to support the rappelers by making donations and from the businesses within our community sponsoring this event. The event begins at 8 a.m. and will conclude around 4 p.m.”
She continued, “Again, this year, we are excited to have UPMC back as our Landing Zone Sponsor. We couldn’t do this event without their generosity and support.”
“To go Over the Edge, no experience is required. We work with trained professionals from Over the Edge Global to execute this event. In addition, we partner with the Williamsport Army Recruiting Station, whose skills and training helps to send our rappelers safely Over the Edge. This group of ‘Ropes Volunteers’ spend the Friday before the event training and then spend Saturday manning the ropes and sending our participants Over the Edge. Past rappelers have commented on the support, encouragement, and expertise our Ropes Volunteers have provided, and they enjoy working with them during this event. We are thankful for the continued participation of the Williamsport Army Recruiting Station in this event.”
According to Brittany Fischer, Communications and Development Director for the YWCA of Northcentral Pennsylvania, “The YWCA is so grateful to be co-hosting our 4th year of Over the Edge with the River Valley Regional YMCA and WASD Education Foundation. Not many fundraising events provide the means to rappel the side of a 150-foot building in celebration of raising $1,000 to support a chosen agency or cause. It’s the perfect way to engage community members in supporting critical services that benefit so many while providing them with a memorable experience at the same time. The YWCA has seen continuous enthusiasm over the past four years from those willing to go Over the Edge for us. We are grateful to have 30 individuals specifically supporting the YWCA’s mission this year. Be sure to stop downtown on September 25th to cheer on the nearly 80 individuals who will go Over the Edge!”