On Saturday, more than 50 brave men and women bucked up with safety gear and rappelled their way down the side of a 14-story building, Torrington Towers, to raise money for three nonprofits in the city.
Torrington’s first-ever “Over the Edge” fundraiser was a great success, with “Edgers” raising 75,000 for Prime Time House, the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council and the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce’s Education Fund.
Amy Wynn, executive director of the arts council, JoAnn Ryan, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Geddes, president of Torrington Savings Bank, staff members from Prime Time House and numerous others, with and without titles, were among the “Edgers” to make the downward climb.
“It was fun,” Geddes said, after completing the event, dressed in a Spiderman outfit. “Especially since I’m afraid of heights. But something happens when you start — you’re going down, and it’s just exciting. I’d do it again.”
Ryan joined her colleagues in the challenge. “I won’t do that again,” she said with laugh, once she was on the ground. “But now I can say I did. I’m grateful to everyone who did this today.”
Sharon Hospital president Peter Cordeau was cheered on by his wife Karleen and sons Pierce and Preston, who held up signs saying “Go Dad” as they watched him descend from the top of the building.
“My brave husband, that’s him,” Karleen Cordeau said.
Wynn, dressed in a fluffy white tutu, pink rubber boots and a fleece jumpsuit, watched and waited for her turn do go over the side of the Towers. “I’m so proud of all our Edgers,” she said. After her descent, she was flushed and happy, saying, “It was great — it was thrilling.”
Plans for the Over the Edge fundraiser began in January. Participants were required to secure at lesat $1,000 in pledges to take part, and at first, the response was slow. “We weren’t sure if it was going to happen,” Wynn said. “But then it picked up. People started to get excited. It’s something I hope we can do every year.”
Dave LaManna and his daughter Sky participate in challenging activities on a regular basis, he said, but rappelling a building was a first for them. “We like raising money for charity,” he said. “Plus, we like the excitement and the challenge.
“I’d go again,” he added with a laugh.