Fifty-seven brave Muscatine area residents took the plunge and went over the edge of the Laurel Building on Saturday, September 21st. Their bold acts will make an even bolder splash in the community, bringing in large donations for the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GMCCI), Muscatine County Big Brothers Big Sisters (MCBBBS), and the Muscatine Special Olympics (MSO).
Jason Miller, MSO Director, shared that the three groups chose to bring Over the Edge back to Muscatine for a second year because of its popularity. “[With] all the feedback we received from last year’s event being such a huge success, we [had to] bring it back. A lot of people from last year were excited to return and do it again, and we received a lot of requests from people who didn’t do it last year but were looking forward to doing it this year.” A fundraiser that travels the country, Over the Edge partners with local non-profit groups to host an unforgettable event. Anyone who raises $1,000 or more for the group or groups hosting Over the Edge gets to rappel down the side of a local building (in Muscatine’s case, the Laurel Building) and have an unforgettable experience that allows them to see their city from a whole new angle.
Ashley Loveless, Director of Public Relations for Pearl City Media, represented one of the brave “Edgers” who took up the challenge. She shared that she got involved with the event after talking with Miller and Lindsay Phillips at Almost Friday Fest in July. After meeting her fundraising goal, Loveless braved the rain and made the trip down the side of the Laurel building. Though she found the start of the climb a little hair raising, she enjoyed the experience, and the chance to support three local causes she cares about. “The scariest part is going over the [top], those first few steps when you put your weight on the rope and realized there’s no going back. [However] I thought it was a very adventurous way to support three great organizations!”
The money raised from Muscatine’s 2019 Over the Edge shows just how much Loveless and the community got into it. This year’s participants brought in $90,000 for the GMCCI, MCBBBS, and MSO, money each group will put to good use. Miller provided the following breakdowns:
Special Olympics will use the money for registration, transportation, Uniforms, equipment, overnight stays, and meals. There is no cost to be in Special Olympics. Everything is covered for our athletes. Big Brothers Big Sisters will use the money to go towards matching bigs and littles and putting on events to help foster a connection with those matches. They currently have fifty littles on a waiting list. The Chamber will use the money for more community events like the 4th of July and Fireworks celebration.
To date, the GMCCI, MCBBBS, and MSO have not decided when they will hold their next Over the Edge, but do value all the community support behind it. “We love what Over The Edge has done for our organizations and our community. We’ll continue to do Over The Edge or another similar community event if we feel as if it’s a good benefit to our community and organizations,” commented Miller.