Rappel (verb) rap·pel \rə-ˈpel, ra-\ : to move down a steep cliff, rock, etc., by pushing your feet against its surface and sliding down a rope.
On June 13, 2015, the steep cliff, or rock in question will be at The Larkin Center of Commerce. On that day, the building will play host to a dramatic fundraiser for Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo called Over The Edge. The all-day event will feature a repelling descent from the roof of the building, 125 feet down to Van Rensselaer Street.
The rappelling event will be coordinated by Over The Edge USA, www.overtheedgeusa.com, a not for profit organization which facilitates events such as this one all around the country and in Canada. Safety is the number one concern, and they will bring in experts to coordinate the rappelling, and secure any other safety issues. The group did a 30 point safety inspection on the building, certified its viability, and now it’s up to all of us to participate (if you dare).
I spoke to Tim Brennan, the interim chief professional officer of Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo, and he told me, “Anyone between the ages of 18 to 65 can rappel.” In order to participate, you will need to raise $1,000. The organizers have set up an online page which will make it easy to receive donations. You can sign up at www.bgcbuffalo.org. There are many creative ways to raise money, from challenging your bosses to match contributions, pool money from different organizations, or you may know of a way to get friends, family, neighbors, co-workers to help fund your trek over the edge!
The lot on Seneca Street adjacent to the building will be the center of activity for the day, including food trucks, including R&R Barbecue and Pine Hill Breakfast Trucks, carnival games, face painters and other entertainment options. 103.3 The Edge will be broadcasting on site, and will include one of the morning duo Shredd and Ragan as a rappeler.
Walking through this yesterday morning with Edla Collora, the marketing director for Larkin COC, I got a real sense of the importance of community throughout our conversation. She told me, “The Larkin District provides a safe, fun and inviting communal atmosphere. There is much more than the famous Larkin buildings in this district. There are many family filled neighborhoods surrounding the district. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo’s Seneca Babcock Youth Center services many of these families and their children.” Similar sentiments were offered by Tim Brennan, “We will be able to engage the entire community to participate.”
Money raised by the daredevils (you, me and the rest of the adventurous community) will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo. It will help fund programs for the organization throughout Western New York.