RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly $150,000 was raised this year for the Special Olympics of North Carolina, as part of the annual “Over the Edge” event.
It’s a view many people don’t get to see: looking down on the city of Raleigh.
“My daddy is going over the edge today and I’m very excited for him. He’s braver than me,” said Stephanie Wilkerson, a Special Olympics athlete.
For 14 years, the organization has hosted the event at 150 Fayetteville St.
The fundraising event helps support 40,000 Special Olympics athletes from across the state.
On Saturday, 100 people, all who raised a minimum of $1,000 got the chance to rappel down from the 30-story building downtown.
“I like to stay on the ground for the most part. I’m not a fan of heights by any means, but I’ll do it if the mission calls for it,” said Justin Duncan, a participant.
The mission this time was to help athletes conquer their own personal missions.
“It means a lot because all the money, it helps us athletes compete and travel and just helps us compete and go to practices and stuff,” said Dustin Edmondson, a Special Olympics athlete. “It helps us just thrive at our sports that we have. We practice all year long.”
As the crowd cheered each other on, they realized this event shows each day is truly all about perspective.
“Like every athlete, it doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not. Every athlete you try to you try to bring all the gold everywhere,” said Edmondson.
“It’s an opportunity to face your fears. But we say that Special Olympics athletes are individuals with intellectual disabilities,” said Madeline Safrit, with the Special Olympics of North Carolina. “They’re asked to be brave and face challenges every day and this is doing the exact same thing, is just being brave, facing that fear going over the edge.”
Safrit said if you’re looking to try and rappel next year, it’s best to get a head start on fundraising.