If you were passing by Fountain Square a few weeks ago, you might have seen hundreds of people looking up at the Westin Hotel, and at person after person rappelling down that 17-story building.
They were there to go “Over The Edge” for a new fundraiser, a collaboration between Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Warren & Clinton Counties. More than 100 people, including CEOs, media VIPs, mascots, Big Brothers and Big Sisters mentors and adventure seekers rose to the challenge and raised more than $100,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Among the supporters: Joe Dominiak, managing partner for Skyline Chili, is involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters personally and professionally. He and his wife, Sandy Kingsley, who works for BBBS of Greater Cincinnati, have been mentors to Ted for five years.
Skyline Chili is a longtime supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters for both events and staff training.
Dominiak raised more than $3,000, letting his supporters know if he raised that much, he would rappel dressed in Skyline’s Coney Man mascot suit. Coney Man made the rappel, along with new mascot Coney Woman.
“This event hits everything in my DNA,” Dominiak said. “It’s in my nature to have fun and to do things for the right reasons. What better reason than to draw attention to the need for mentors for so many kids in Greater Cincinnati?”
For others, such as Katie Simms, it was the opportunity to face a fear and set an example. Simms is afraid of heights but was the first person to register for the event. She is a Big Sister to Genesis.
“I like to think my determination to conquer this challenge is greater than the fear itself,” she said. “My Little Sister and I have had several conversations about conquering fears and why that is important, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to set an example for her.”
Simms works for Total Quality Logistics. The company wanted to help her set that example, so it set up a trial run at the TQL headquarters in Eastgate. She and other employees did a rappel from that five-story building ahead of the event, raising funds to support her efforts.
While the main event was on Aug. 25, its kickoff was the day before.
Greater Cincinnati VIPs including Eddie Fingers (700 WLW), Frank Marzullo and Catherine Bodak (Fox19), Josh Martinez (KISS 107) and mascots Rosie Red and Who Dey grabbed attention as they rappelled down the Westin. That was followed by a “Liquid Courage” reception for all rappellers, sponsored by Richards Industries and hosted by the Taft Centre.
Many companies participated as part of a Toss Your Boss campaign. Employees contributed to the effort to have their bosses go Over the Edge.
Tri-State organizations found many ways to get involved. Several Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky firefighters and police officers were given the opportunity to rappel, sponsored as part of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon First Responders Challenge.
Click on a thumbnail below to view photo gallery from the event.