Over The Edge: daring fundraisers involving both seniors and community members

'The event saw seniors and community members rappelling down The Hub at Lacey, all in support of vital programs for seniors in Olympia and Lacey'


I am usually up for participating in fundraisers, but when Mike Gregory, Development Director at Senior Services of South Sound, told me about Over the Edge – I took a hard pass. Oh, I believe in the work of Senior Services. It’s an amazing organization. It’s just that I’m not about to hang over a 6-story building tied to a rope. I'm happy to donate to someone brave enough, but that’s not me.

Those who were brave enough to participate in this groundbreaking fundraiser included a 10-year-old and an 85-year-old. This is truly unlike any other local fundraiser I’ve seen. Partnering with Over The Edge, an urban rappelling company renowned for organizing daring fundraisers across North America, the event saw seniors and community members rappelling down The Hub at Lacey, all in support of vital programs for seniors in Olympia and Lacey.

The event kicked off with a bustling ground party at Huntamer Park, situated at the base of the 4565 building—home to the Washington State Gambling Commission. Excited attendees enjoyed live music and entertainment while eagerly awaiting the sight of brave participants descending from above. This is the part I was all in for.

A total of 30 seniors and community members took the plunge, showcasing a remarkable range of courage and commitment to the cause. Over The Edge brought their expertise honed over two decades to ensure the safety and success of each rappeler, marking a unique and memorable occasion for the South Puget Sound community. Mike Gregory went down next to his 81-year-old mother, which he thought was both terrifying and strangely moving.

When I recently talked with Mike he told me that, “The event was a huge success, grossing more than $77,000 and also bringing together members of our community to witness the inspiring sight of seniors and those who care about them doing something meaningful. I talked to so many people who had been nervous about rappelling, and every one of them wants to do it again next year. The energy was amazing!”

If you aren’t familiar with Senior Services for South Sound, they have been a pillar of support for seniors in the region for over 50 years. They operate a senior center that offer a wide array of activities and classes as well as essential services like community dining and Meals on Wheels. The organization's vision is to empower seniors, ensuring they remain active, engaged, and valued members of the community as they age.

At the conclusion of Over the Edge, there were plenty of cheers and applause as organizers expressed gratitude to sponsors, volunteers, and participants for their unwavering support. Plans are already in motion for future events aimed at further engaging the community and raising awareness about issues affecting seniors in South Sound.

For those interested in supporting Senior Services for South Sound, participating in future events, or taking advantage of their wonderful services please visit their website or visit their headquarters at 222 Columbia St NW in downtown Olympia. As a community, we are fortunate to have the care, support, and opportunities seniors serve to thrive in their later years through Senior Services of South Sound.

Zach Davis-Price is a man of many interests, especially the workings and activities of local nonprofit organizations and volunteer programs.  He lives in Tumwater. 


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