Thrill seekers in Raleigh raise money, take the plunge for Special Olympics

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, all coming together to make a difference, one foot at a time.

People rappelled down 30 stories at the Wells Fargo Capitol Center Building in downtown Raleigh on Saturday to help raise money for the Special Olympics. 

It was a view like no other, for 70 people taking the plunge.

“I think rappelling down 30 stories is about as crazy of a thing that someone can do,” Madeline Safrit said, the Director of Communications for the Special Olympics of North Carolina.

It’s all to help athletes like Kristine Hughes. 

“No matter what your fear is, you have to face it,” Hughes said. “I got through it and kept going.”

Hughes has rappelled down the building six times in the past few years, all to help her teams succeed.
She’s one of 40,000 Special Olympic athletes benefitting from the fundraiser. 

“I currently compete in golf, but I’m also an official for volleyball. And I coach basketball and tennis,” Hughes said proudly.

But she also encourages others to face their fears and be brave, just like she said she does every day.

“I want to be able to show my fellow athletes they can face their fears and get through it, and that will help them in the long run in their regular life,” Hughes said.

She said she likes to inspire others to live in a way that not only gives back to the community, but also helps everyone become a better person.

“It’s been a really tough year for a lot of people. Our athletes are so resilient, and this fundraiser is a great example of that,” Safrit said. “They’re all doing this for Special Olympics Athletes to show how much this means to them. I think it speaks to how impactful this organization is.”

To get to rappel down the building, people had to raise at least $1,000.

This year’s event raised about $100,000. 

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