Risking the fall for a great cause
The edge of the Seneca Niagara Casino that is.
Approximately one-hundred daring participants will repel down the 27 story casino from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 26.
Participants were asked to raise a $1,000 donation to be put toward the event with one-hundred percent of the proceeds intended to raise funds for year-round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-style sports for those children and individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The training allows those individuals to develop capabilities in physical fitness skills and provide them with the courage to try new things and overcome their ailments.
The annual Over The Edge event teaches those who are involved with the Special Olympics what it means to feel triumph and gives them the experience of feeling proud of their accomplishments.
According to information provided by The Special Olympics, there are 55,698 athletes with intellectual disabilities in new York State. Twenty-two of the Olympic-style sporting events are not supported through cost and need help in funding.
“This is a great day to raise awareness,” said Amy Neveaux, representative of the Special Olympics. “Not only is going over the edge a once in a life time experience, it allows people to the opportunity to see what our athletes are capable of. They can talk to them in our VIP tent, before and after the event and see that they are people just like us.”
For the second consecutive year, Mike O’Bryan a State Trooper for 12 years, who resides in Tonawanda, will repel down the 357-foot-hight building.
“New York State has the largest amount of Special Olympic athletes. It costs about $400 per person, per year, to train for these sports,” said O’Bryan. “So, we fund-raise all year long to help raise money for their programs.”
O’Bryan, who was formerly a special education teacher at Starpoint High School for three years, holds the cause close to his heart.
“When you see one of the athletes compete and see how well they do it, it’s so wonderful,” said O’Bryan. “It’s moving and emotional. Once you see that, you’ll do anything, whether that means plunging into freezing cold water or repelling down the casino, you’ll do it.”
The event has raised between almost $100,000 in past years. Representatives are hoping to reach their goal of $150,000 this year.
There will be events for the children, including games for them to participate. Anyone can head to the casino to watch the event.
O’Bryan encourages the public to take the challenge of repelling down the outer wall of the casino and help fund these programs for such stellar athletes.
Each participant will be given a time slot and should show up one hour before for training and practice.
Head to the casino to watch the exciting event.
For those who wish to participate, you can register at http://tinyurl.com/OTE2012. To make a donation without repelling down the wall, contact Neveaux at 861-9795.