Rope for Hope participants face fears to grant wishes in Moncton
Fear was no match for adrenaline Saturday as 20 people rappelled down New Brunswick’s tallest office building in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The organization’s Rope for Hope Challenge offered fundraisers the chance to rappel down the 20-storey Assumption Place for a good cause.
“In order to go down you have to raise $1,500,” explains Tracy Durkee-Jones of Make-A-Wish.
For some, raising the money was the easy part. Rappelling down the building was another story.
“You have to be really brave to go over the edge and our Wish Kids are brave every day, so what we tell people is you can be brave for 15 minutes. Our Wish Kids are brave their entire lives,” says Durkee-Jones.
All the money raised will go toward granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions in Atlantic Canada.
“I’ve been involved with Make-A-Wish for several years now and understand what the Wish Kids go through, so to work up the courage to get off the roof, it’s a challenge, but well worth it,” says participant Owen MacNeil.
At the age of 14, Grant McGuire was the youngest participant to make the trek down Assumption Place. He was also a Wish Kid in 2012.
“We went to Lego Land and a whole bunch of other parks,” says McGuire. “Going down is kind of scary because you’re on a frigging 20-storey building, kind of nerve-wracking.”
Ready to face their fears, some donned superhero costumes for the occasion.
“We put a team together. We called it the Wish League and we all chose a superhero,” says participant Danielle Boucher.
But participants say, despite donning a costume and a brave face, taking the first step is no easy feat.
“You’re essentially hung in the air like a basket until you start walking down a wall,” says Boucher.
“You’re looking over the top of the whole city. You can see up and down the Petitcodiac River, the roofs of all the building tops all the way around,” says MacNeil. “The first 100 feet is just making sure you’re mentally still OK once you’re off the edge, and after that your brain settles in a little bit and look around and it’s awesome.”
The Halifax chapter hosted its Rope for Hope event in June but this is the first time it’s been held in New Brunswick.
Organizers say they plan to host the event in Moncton again next year.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore