If you saw people dangling on ropes from the 102-foot International Motorsports Center in Daytona Beach last week, your eyes weren’t deceiving you. In fact, dozens of rappelers went “Over the Edge” of the 8-story building in support of Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida and The NASCAR Foundation. By all accounts, the 2nd Annual Over the Edge at ONE DAYTONA was a huge success!
On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, Edgers who had sponsored the event, or who had individually fundraised for their spot, took their place on the ropes for two action-packed days across from Daytona International Speedway.
The event raised more than $131,000 for the two charities and countless supporters learned what it takes to “Be Brave for Courageous Kids!”
First to rappel was longtime Easterseals champion Sheryl Cook, who rappelled alongside NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace. Sheryl is the top individual fundraiser in the 2018 event, collecting more than $13,800. She’s a longtime Easterseals board member, honorary past chair & Lily Award recipient and lifelong Easterseals volunteer.
Another notable moment on the ropes was the challenge between Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri – a first-time Edger – and Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood – a second-time Edger. Both successfully fundraised for their spot on the ropes. And, are you wondering who made it down the building first? We’ll never tell.
Over the Edge sponsors made the event possible! They include Victory Lane Sponsor Jeep Beach (jeepbeach.com); Landing Zone Sponsors The Daytona Beach News-Journal (news-journalonline.com), NASCAR (NASCAR.com), KIX Country 98.7 FM, Beach 92.7 FM, Bill Voges and Family, and Halifax Health; Building Sponsor International Speedway Corporation (internationalspeedwaycorporation.com); Volunteer Lounge Sponsor SpecialCare by MassMutual (massmutual.com/planning/topics/specialcare), and Media Sponsors WHOG 95.7 FM, WLOV 99.5 FM, HOT 94.1 FM, 103.3 The Vibe, and 93.1 Coast Country (daytonaradio.com). We thank these sponsors for their support and encourage you to learn more about the above businesses. Please support them with your patronage.
Mark your calendars for the 3rd annual Over the Edge at ONE DAYTONA event, to be scheduled in fall 2019! Stay abreast of event updates at daytonaovertheedge.org. In the meantime, we welcome your engagement with Easterseals year-round. Learn more about Easterseals and its programs by calling
386-255-4568, 1-877-255-4568 (toll-free) or 386-310-1157 (videophone); emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; or visiting us online at www.eastersealsnecfl.org.
Vickie Pleus has been an Easterseals supporter through her public-relations business for many years. And in 2017, she took the devotion to a new height when she signed up as an Edger in the inaugural Over the Edge at One Daytona event last November.
“I loved the rappelling fundraiser idea from the moment I first heard it,” says Vickie. “What’s better than getting adventurous and raising money for worthy causes simultaneously? I don’t need many reasons for having fun, but this one seemed like a no-brainer.”
Vickie recalls being full of confidence about rappelling for weeks beforehand as she raised $1,000 to earn her Edger position. Generous family and friends continued contributing to the fundraising effort, and as the days passed, Vickie knew she had a spot on the ropes. But, it wasn’t until she was harnessed and on the rooftop that it really sunk in.
“I remember being safely harnessed and hearing the Over the Edge staff direct me, step by step, to put my heels over the edge of the building and lean back,” says Vickie. “It was comical! I tried to make myself lean into the harness that way I was supposed to and my body wasn’t having anything to do with that idea.”
Once her body caught up with her brain, says Vickie, it only took a minute for her to get the hang of the rappelling. She danced down the building as she was lowered to the ground.
“I was kicking and laughing and posing for photos like a fool, all the way down International Motorsports Center,” said Vickie. “It was such a rush and so fun, just as I had anticipated it would be. It’s completely safe up there and just knowing that my $1,000 was going to help two worthy organizations…it was an overall amazing experience.
“If you’re considering being an Edger and rappelling in the Nov. 3 event, don’t hesitate,” she says, “You’ll never forget it and you’ll have great stories for years.”
The first 140 fundraisers to raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations will earn a spot to go Over The Edge At ONE DAYTONA on November 3, 2018. All monies raised will be shared equally between The NASCAR Foundation and Easterseals Northeast Central Florida - strong, local, 501(c)3 charity partners who are equally dedicated to providing healthcare and services to children in our community who need it most!
Space is limited, so fire up the adrenaline and act now! https://daytonaovertheedge.org/selfregister.cfm
Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida’s “Walk With Me Daytona,” a signature fundraiser, was postponed to May 31 due to forecasted inclement weather on its original date. The plan was that teams would meet at the ballpark at 5 p.m. to begin a 1.5-mile scenic stroll along the Sweetheart Trail. Afterward, they’d enjoy a family and friend’s picnic and night out at the ballpark with the Daytona Tortugas.
But, nature had other plans; May 31 was wet, too! Although similar thunder rolled through the skies above Jackie Robinson Ballpark on May 31 as well, it didn’t stop families from coming out to party in the rain.
“So many families showing up for Walk With Me despite the wet weather reminds us how much Easterseals is beloved, needed and important to our community,” said VP-Planned Giving Susan Moor. “To see everyone dancing in the rain, enjoying one another’s company and sharing a meal was heartwarming.”
There’s no stopping Easterseals’ folks!
“A great cause and a great night in spite of the rain!” Susan Janaro wrote on Easterseals’ Facebook page.
“Our team had such a great time this year at Walk With Me,” added the team at Tom Cook Jewelers.
Each year, Walk With Me is led by inspiring local young ambassadors who lead teams through the event and share their stories of hope and courage while living with disabilities. This year’s Walk With Me ambassadors include Walter Stewart, age 4; Leon Johnson-Hansen, age 7; Avery Bishop, age 8; Stephen Watkins (adult); Harry Cortright, age 4; Quinn Duncan, age 2; Annahart Yuschok, age 17; Barry Mack, age 3; and Ericka Winn, age 30.
Funds raised through Walk With Me support vital programs for people with disabilities, including pediatric therapy, pediatric audiology, charter school and child development centers, deaf advocacy, equipment loan closet, Joey’s Gift Respite Care and Local Early Steps.
Stay tuned for next year’s event! And in the meantime, cross your fingers for clear skies; the good times and smiles are guaranteed!
Everyday heroes, thrill seekers and community leaders are invited to once again be brave for courageous kids during the second annual “Over The Edge At ONE DAYTONA” event on November 2 and 3, 2018.
Registration is now open for individual fundraisers, and underwriting opportunities are available from $5,000. The $25 registration fee is being waived for all registrants who sign up to participate by Friday, July 13th at midnight. The first 140 fundraisers who raise a minimum of $1,000 will earn their spot to go Over the Edge of the west-side façade of the 102-foot-high International Motorsports Center, the headquarters of NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation (ISC).
This event can be classified as both unique and successful, as the inaugural event in 2017 raised $200,000 in support of Easterseals Northeast Central Florida and The NASCAR Foundation. Event logistics are coordinated by Over the Edge, a professional rappelling organization that organizes similar events throughout the country.
"We are thrilled to be going Over The Edge at ONE DAYTONA again this year to benefit children in our communities," said Bev Johnson, CEO of Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida. "Not only is this rappelling event exciting, it brings home the point that, everyday, children and families are courageously living with disabilities and healthcare needs. So, it's fitting that Over The Edge challenges the generous volunteers who raise funds and rappel for these families! As they're being brave for courageous kids, they're also doing tremendous good."
Register and learn more about the event and its corporate giving levels at www.DaytonaOverTheEdge.org, and follow the event’s progress at https://www.facebook.com/DaytonaOverTheEdge/.