Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2013, 7:38 pm

Fundraisers go 'Over the Edge' for charity

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By Tyler Langan, tlangan@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti/pcolletti@qconline.com
Cindy Ramos wears her "Elegant Miss U.S. United" tiara as she prepares to rappel from the roof of the Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. Miss Ramos was one of 35 people given the opportunity to walk down the exterior wall by raising money to benefit Special Olympics Iowa and Special Olympics Illinois.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti/pcolletti@qconline.com
Richard Schwab asks if his ropes are secure as he begins his descent from the roof of the Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. Thirty-five people who raised money for Special Olympics Iowa and Special Olympics Illinois had the opportunity to rappel from the 11-story building. Participants raised 30,000 dollars for the organizations for the second year.
DAVENPORT — Thrill-seekers and fundraisers rapelled off the Hotel Blackhawk Wednesday on behalf of the Special Olympics.

The second annual Over the Edge Quad Cities kicked off shortly after 10 a.m. as a man dressed as Spiderman appeared over the edge of the historic 11-story building before rapelling down the side.

Organizers hoped to get 92 people to raise a minimum of $750 each in pledges. The goal was to raise $30,000 for the Special Olympics.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 50 people were registered on the group's website, overtheedgequadcities.com. Those signed up had raised $27,151.

Roy and Carey DeWitt saw the event on TV last year and decided to sign up. The two raised about $850 each, they said.

Mr. Dewitt said he was glad to help out a good cause, and he didn't mind stepping over the edge more than 130 feet up.

"You really put your trust in the team at the top, and you smile for the camera," he said. "And then you just try to enjoy the ride down."

Ms. DeWitt said she fears heights, but tries to overcome her fear by facing it head on.

"This was the biggest challenge, I think, height-wise," she said. "It helps to not look down."

Tony Goldsmith said he has his pilot license and doesn't fear heights usually. But he admitted rapelling off a building was a little nerve-racking.

By the time you look down, it's on your own," Mr. Goldsmith said. "It went good, I would recommend it to anyone."

Mr. Goldsmith said it's important to support those in need.

"There's other people in the community that need support just like I needed support on that rope," he said. "It just felt good that I was doing my part helping support someone else, just like that rope was doing its part to support me."