IAAPA Team Members Go Over The Edge
“Take your feet with you,” said the man coaching me through my very brief practice rappel.
That was the best advice I could get just moments before I leaned off the top of the Hyatt Regency Orlando and slowly descended more than 300 feet to the earth below, all while forced to see Central Florida’s landscape reflecting at me in the mirror-like windows.
I know, I know. With an attitude like that, you’d forget I voluntarily raised $1,176 for the opportunity (or dare I say, privilege) to do the thing that was making my stomach flip and my knees knock.
What’s even crazier? I wasn’t the only IAAPA team member to suit up and channel their inner Spider-Man for charity. Scott Fais, global editorial director, and Julie Rice-Witherell, manager of global advertising sales, were also part of Team IAAPA for “Over The Edge 2023.”
For those unfamiliar, the annual fundraiser benefits Give Kids The World, a Central Florida nonprofit that provides week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families from around the world. This year’s fundraising goal of $115,000 was surpassed prior to the April 15 event and the IAAPA trio contributed nearly $3,700 toward the benchmark.
Donning an industrial-grade harness connected to two ropes designed to handle a 5,000-pound load, and corresponding safety redundancy devices and hardware, Team IAAPA took turns rappelling down the side of the Orlando hotel as a pool full of spring break vacationers looked on.
Now, two days later and with both feet firmly planted on the ground, I can say the experience wasn’t that bad. Would I do it again? Absolutely, and I’m happy to share Scott and Julie have already agreed to join me in 2024 as we, once again, go over the edge.