Sixty people took turns rappelling down the 18-story Landmark 6 building on Dickson Avenue in Kelowna on Tuesday for Easter Seals’ first-ever Okanagan Drop Zone fundraising event.
The initiative was just one of four Drop Zone events hosted in the province in the last week, with the other three taking place in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey.
Easter Seals, a BC/Yukon charity dedicated to providing programs and services to people with disabilities, set a goal of raising $200,000 across the four locations, with much of the proceeds going towards funding Easter Seals camps — one of which is located in the Okanagan, Camp Winfield.
“Our campers are people with disabilities. They have a lot of needs, therefore making camp really expensive,” said Michelle Webber, the community engagement manager for Easter Seals. “So by us raising money, it makes it accessible to all families and makes it affordable for them.”
When the event was first advertised in Kelowna, Webber said the spots sold out in the first week.
“The Okanagan is a booming community, growing with people that are wanting to raise awareness for great causes,” she said.
“We want to create a presence in the Okanagan. We want people to know who the Easter Seals are, the amazing cause we represent, and that they’ll want to watch us grow and do better things every year.”
Webber was one of the 60 participants to repel down the building — her first time doing so in nearly a decade.
“I still had some nerves, but it was a heck of a lot of fun,” she said.
Fundraising through rappelled, she added, is an activity anyone can get behind.
“When I think about it, in my opinion, it draws a heck of a lot of attention and it’s fun,” she said. “People want to raise money because they get to do something super cool.”