ST. GEORGE — If you’ve ever wanted to rappel off the side of a building like something out of a “Spider-Man” movie, you may get your chance in September.
Over the Edge, a non-profit organization from Halifax, Canada, is coming to St. George on Sept. 14 to raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah. Those who donate $1,000 will get to rappel off the side of the five-story Hyatt Place hotel in St. George.
“People come from all over to rappel in St. George off places like the Dixie Rock, but nobody has gone over a building, and I think that’s where the excitement is — you get to be like Spider-man almost,” said Lil Barron, director of development and community relations for Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah.
All of the money raised from the Over the Edge event in St. George will go directly to Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing to to low-income families. The organization recently bought the land for their 23rd home in Washington County.
So far, there are 35 participants signed up for the Over the Edge event, which means if every one of them raises enough money, that will be $35,000 raised for future Habitat for Humanity projects. The lot that was just bought for the 23rd home cost $55,000, so all the money raised at this fundraising event will definitely help, Barron said.
“All of that money will help a family get into a home,” she said.
Many of the participants in the St. George Over the Edge event are raising money through their business, like 99.9 KONY Country or SkyWest Airlines. Others are raising money on their own.
“When you think of $1,000, you think that’s a lot of money,” Barron said. “But if you just get 100 people to donate $10, then you’re there.”
The first time Barron called a hotel executive about the possibility of having people rappel of the side, she said he responded with “not only ‘no,’ but ‘you-know-what no.'” That changed after the hotel executives were reassured about everything that goes into ensuring each rappel is safe, Barron said.
After facilitating over 6,000 rappels down buildings across America and having zero accidents, Over the Edge makes things a lot safer than people may think at first, Barron said. So after further discussions with managers at Hyatt Place, they agreed to allow the hotel to be the event’s venue.
“I feel like (Over the Edge) has a pretty good safety record under their belt and they know what they’re doing,” Barron said. “Safety for the participants and safety of the building is absolutely first priority for this group.”
On the day of the rappel, participants will arrive an hour early to receive training and to be fitted with a harness. They’ll go to the top of the building and start rappelling off at 9 a.m. People who want to come and watch the participants go down the rope are also free to do so, Barron said.
People who want to donate money but don’t want to brave the rappel are encouraged to sponsor one of the participants and help him or her reach the $1,000 goal.
When asked if she’s considering rappelling off the building, Barron said she was never tempted by the idea.
“I can’t even imagine the rush that you’re going to get because I don’t want to,” she said with a laugh.
- What: Over the Edge event to raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah
- When: Sept. 14 at 9 a.m.
- Where: The Hyatt Place hotel, 1819 S 120 East, St. George.
- Participants will need to raise $1,000 before the event. You can sign up online.
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