Over the Edge

Rappel 400 feet to help Special Olympics athletes

Rizza Ballesteros smiles as she gets ready to rappel 400 feet to the ground.

When Rizza Ballesteros agreed to help raise funds for Special Olympics Hawaii, little did she know she would be playing Spider Woman, rappelling 31 stories down the face of a Waikiki hotel.

“The scariest part was looking over the edge,” Ballesteros said. “But once you started going down, people stood outside their balconies cheering you on ... and that helped.”

On Saturday, Oct. 28, 96 thrillseekers will face their fear of heights at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa and rappel 400 feet to the ground. Now in its ninth year, the event is instrumental in helping Special Olympics Hawaii raise the funds necessary to provide free sports training and competition opportunities to local athletes with intellectual disabilities, according to Nancy Bottelo, Special Olympics Hawai'i president and CEO.

“Many of our Over the Edge participants share that they are afraid of heights but do this event anyway to support our athletes, which is just incredible,” said Bottelo in a released statement. “Our athletes conquer their fears and challenges on a daily basis and this fundraiser is just one way that we can show support for their hard work.”

Rappel spots will be reserved exclusively for individuals or groups that commit to raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations per rappel. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and weigh less than 300 pounds. To sign up, participants can register online at specialolympicshawaii.org. Early bird registration runs through Friday, September 15, 2017, and includes a 50 percent discount on the $100 registration fee. After September 15, 2017 the registration fee is $100 per participant. Those who wish to support Special Olympics Hawai’i but do not want to participate in Over the Edge can also make a donation by clicking on this link. This year’s event seeks to raise $140,000 for Special Olympics Hawaii.

“Each year our team eagerly anticipates the return of Special Olympics Hawai’i and their supporters for another year of Over the Edge,” said David Nadelman, Hyatt's area vice president and general manager. “It is such a unique fundraiser that truly showcases the beauty of Hawaii, creates lasting memories and supports an organization that does so much for our athletes with intellectual disabilities.”

This year, participants who raise more than $1,000 will be eligible for exciting incentive prizes. ​All funds raised through Over the Edge of Waikīkī will support Special Olympics athletes from around the state, and allows them to compete in basketball, singles, double and Unified team bowling, as well as traditional and Unified doubles bocce ball.

Special Olympics Hawai'i's Over the Edge of Waikīkī is conducted by Over the Edge, a U.S.-based company that specializes in creating unique fundraising events for nonprofit organizations. Their staff includes fully-trained professionals who have conducted more than 500 successful events and more than 25,000 Edgers. To date, the company has helped nonprofits raise approximately $33 million. Since 2009, Over the Edge has raised more than $1,046,000 for Special Olympics Hawaii, allowing the local nonprofit to provide services to more than 5,000 participants statewide.

For more information on Special Olympics Hawaii, contact 943.8808 or visit Special Olympics Hawaii. Also, follow Special Olympics Hawaii on twitter @sohawaii and on Facebook at facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsHawaii for updates on the event.

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