Who wouldn’t want to rappel down a 12-story building if they had a chance? Turns out, a lot of people wouldn’t, but when I first saw the notice about the Providence Community Libraries (PCL) Over The Edge fundraiser, it was a no-brainer for me. It sounded like great motivation to get in shape for the summer, and a great way to see my city from a new perspective and usher out my 60s. Most of all, since I love my local libraries, I saw it as a great way to show my support for them.
Only the first 90 people who raised $1,000 are allowed up to the roof of the Regency Plaza and then down its side, so my primary concern was that it would take me longer to raise that amount from my $10 and $20 contributing friends than someone who could raise that amount in two phone calls, so I got to work right away. I sent out a personalized request with a link to the donation website to 100 or so of my closest friends, and posted my appeal on social media. My peeps did not disappoint. Within 12 hours, I’d raised more than the $1,000 I needed, and I became the very first official PCL rappeller-to-be. By the next day, I’d earned enough to wear a GoPro camera on my helmet so I could document my descent.
I have never rappelled before. So I was very pleased that a perk of registration was getting a free pass to Rock Spot Climbing in Lincoln where I experienced the apparatus I’ll be using on June 23 when I take that first step off the Regency Plaza roof. As with many of life’s challenging endeavors, the first step is the hardest. In this case, it was getting my body from an upright position on a roof to a right angle on the side of the building that took some getting used to, but I felt more comfortable after two times rappelling down the one-story wall at Rock Spot.
So far, I’ve lost seven of the 10 pounds I put on while working on a book this past winter and early spring. I’m eating a healthier diet and have increased my exercise regimen. I plan to be in peak condition by Descent Day, and envision sporting a Wonder Woman type outfit. I’ve more than doubled my original fundraising goal. All good. But to help PCL be in their peak condition, to keep them healthy and help put them over the edge for their fundraising goal, many more people need to climb up on the roof with me. And PCL is now sweetening the pot by offering to split funds raised by some youth-serving non-profits that want to partner in this worthwhile effort.
On the Over the Edge website, you can find out more, including a list of the Top Ten Reasons to Support PCL. Here are my top three:
- PCL promotes literacy and lifelong learning with inspiring programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, and last year, library users made more than 650,000 visits to PCL libraries.
- At the end of the school day, children flock to the libraries for creative programs and help with their homework, and PCL’s specially equipped Mobile Library expands PCL’s Summer Reading Program by taking it on the road – bringing books, computers and teachers to schoolyards and recreation centers.
- All PCL services and programs are offered absolutely free to the public.
Let’s keep the good work of our community libraries going. Donate today, or join me up on the roof on June 23.