13aAttention all daredevils! Have you ever thought about rappelling down the side of a building with your colleagues cheering you on?
United Way of Cumberland County presents an Over The Edge fundraising event Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Medical Arts Building in downtown Fayetteville.
“Over the Edge is what we call a peer-to-peer fundraiser that is the same scope of a walkathon in which people raise money individually,” said Carolyn Justice-Hinson, member of the United Way Board of Directors and co-chair of the event. “Over the Edge is urban rappelling and to participate in the event an individual must sign up and raise money. The goal for each individual is to raise is $1,000.”
She added, “They will rappel down the side of the Medical Arts Building in downtown Fayetteville which is approximately 50 feet.”
United Way of Cumberland County has typically raised funds that support partner agencies in the community through workplace campaigns.
“As times have changed and we were going through COVID-19, we started looking at some new ventures to help raise funds,” said Justice-Hinson. “Last year was the first year that United Way embarked on a fundraiser because we have always done workplace campaigns and individual contributions.”
Justice-Hinson added, “It was challenging to find buildings in Fayetteville to fit the criteria for rappelling. We are thankful to Cape Fear Valley Health System and Michael Nagowski for allowing us to use the Medical Arts Building which is the perfect location in downtown Fayetteville. With United Way, we wanted to attract younger donors, people involved with United Way and we felt this kind of fundraiser would be another way to get the younger generations involved,” said Justice-Hinson.
The adventurous event has taken a life of its own and some individuals have used it to take a stance for causes that are close to their heart.
“Some people are doing it in honor of a loved one, as a challenge to themselves, or because they have not had an opportunity to rappel before,” said Justice-Hinson. “Some people are doing it because their company is participating in what we call Toss the Boss and that is when the company or its employees raise money and the goal is to raise $2,500. When they raise the money, their boss agrees to rappel down the side of the building and if they decide not to rappel, they will have to pay additional money to not rappel,” she said.
“When participants come to rappel, there are areas for their friends and family to cheer them on,” said Justice-Hinson. “We have an MC and when you are rappelling down the building, he will talk about you and tell what cause you are rappelling for.”
Last year’s edgy event drew support from some of Fayetteville’s heavy hitters.
“We had the representative from the Garrison Command, Command Sgt. Maj. Greg Seymour, to participate last year as one of our VIPs and he is planning on participating this year,” said Justice-Hinson. “We had a lot of community leaders who participated … Superior Court Judge Ammons, Police Chief Kemberle Braden, County Commissioner Toni Stewart, City Councilwoman Kathy Jensen and North Carolina Superior Court Judge Robby Hicks.”
“Last year’s event exceeded our expectations and many of the partner agencies of United Way participated,” said Justice-Hinson. “There were a lot of the members of the community who just came out to observe and I will say that since COVID-19 there have not been as many activities that I really think had a sense of community and that day really did.”
She added, “It was incredibly positive and that is why the United Way decided that we would go for a second year with the fundraiser. This is a fundraiser like no other.”
Justice-Hinson’s decision to rappel has given her personal and professional fulfillment as well as a testament to her adaptability.
“When I was participating on the committee last year, I was very excited about it but I personally was not going to rappel,” she said. “I actually raised money so that one of my best friends could rappel and I was too chicken to do it because of my life experiences of being put in that type of situation and not being able to do it.”
Justice Hinson added, “At the end of the day, the event had been so successful that I ended up rappelling. Maybe I got caught up in the moment by looking around and watching all of the excitement of that day and watching the people who rappelled, get to the ground and were able to celebrate doing it. Now, anytime that I have a challenge, that has stuck out in my mind. If I can rappel down the side of a building, I can certainly tackle what is in front of me. It was a personal victory for me and that was my takeaway from it.”
All the funds that are raised are going to United Way.
“Last year we ended up raising $30,000 and every bit makes a difference,” said Justice-Hinson. “United Way is all about making this community a better place and it is really a win-win situation.”
United Way’s goal is for the fundraiser to become a popular staple in the community.
“We would ultimately love to see it grow, sustain it year in and year out and love to see some competition between businesses,” said Justice-Hinson. “We chose rappelling because it was different than any fundraiser that we had done around Fayetteville, it was unique and we wanted to do something with the military.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit https://www.unitedway-cc.org/ or call 910-483-1179.

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