It was June 5th of 2009 when I first went “Over The Edge”. Now I’m doing it again!

The annual “Over the Edge” rappelling event is back for another year of raising money for Easterseals Michigan and children with disabilities living in Grand Rapids. “It’s a way for people to have an experience of a lifetime while doing good,” said Denise Durkee, director of Easterseals Michigan’s West Michigan location. This year the event will be held at Bridgewater Place on Friday, September 20 (Media/VIP Day) and Saturday, September 21 (The Main Event). I will be making my way down the side of Bridgewater Place on Friday in the 5 pm hour. Easterseals has set up a donation page just for me! You can find it here.

This event helps to raise money for services that help individuals with disabilities. Individuals like Trinity, a young girl that was born addicted to cocaine. The effects of drugs on the development of the fetal brain and other organ systems continue after birth, causing delays in physical, mental, social, behavioral and intellectual development.  Her family turned to Easterseals Michigan for help. She has been receiving services at the Grand Rapids location for the past year and has improved in her ability to follow directions and control impulses. She has also improved her social skills, fine motor skills, hand strength, and sensory processing. One of her biggest accomplishments is being able to identify what she is feeling and why, and to communicate this to others.  She demonstrates an engaging and competitive spirit during therapy. Trinity is learning to channel her energy in productive ways and loves spending time with her Easterseals family, modeling and playing soccer. In addition to these services, Easterseals Michigan’s West Michigan location services individuals on the autism spectrum as well as senior citizens with aging conditions.

Among the services in West Michigan are occupational, speech and language therapy; summer respite and recreational day camps for children with autism, sensory integration disorders or other special needs; case management and home-based behavioral health services; in partnership Michigan State University Extension, the AgrAbility program provides direct service to farmers with disabling injuries, illness or aging conditions to help them keep their occupation and livelihood; and both the “Caring for the Caregiver” and Independent Living programs provide support for senior citizens and their families.

I first went “Over The Edge” in 2009. I rappelled down all 34 stories of the River House Condominiums. This year the event will be held on the side of Bridgewater Place, off from the Varnum Deck at the top. Once again, I have signed up to go “Over The Edge”!  For rapellers to participate, they must raise $1,500 to support Easterseals — and all money raised stays right here in West Michigan.

When I first when “Over The Edge” it was on the side of River House Condominiums. At one point on my way down, a lady came out on her balcony and actually said “hi” to me as I traveled past her windows.

This is a great experience. If you haven’t ever done anything like this, I highly encourage you to do so!