Candice Buckley likes a little adventure in her life.
She’s tried jumping out of a plane, and on Monday the 29-year-old rappelled 14-storeys down the side of Maplecrest Towers, raising $1,500 for Easter Seals in the process.
The daredevil-in-the-making said she took part for a number of reasons.
“I did it for the fun of it and to help raise money, to get that hump over in my life,” she said. “I was a little (nervous) there right at the edge, because you’re teetering at the side. And you have to get comfortable in the harness, but after that it was good.
“Going down was a little interesting. You get a little sweet spot and then you get stuck and you bounce up and down. I’m a little nervous, I’m a little shaking right now, but I’d do it again, for sure,” she said.
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Buckley is one of 30 participants scheduled to make the climb down one of Thunder Bay’s tallest apartment complex, a 360-degree birds-eye view of the city the initial reward for stepping out onto the gravel covered roof.
Those taking part, many dressed in superhero outfits, were trained on the ground to get an idea what to expect, then ride the elevator 14 floors to the roof, where they were strapped in by Drop Zone staff, given further instructions and sent bouncing off the red brick wall to terra firma again.
Laura Revere, 27, a member of the Easter Seals committee, said she decided to take the plunge to encourage others to take part.
“It was a little bit easier to convince other people to do it if you were going to do it yourself,” she said.
Of course it doesn’t help matters when you’re terrified of heights yourself.
“I went up Mount MacKay and can’t even get close to the edge. But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I just wanted to take the opportunity to challenge my fears and just go for it. You only live once. You’ve got to experience the most out of it.”
Revere even employed a strict strategy as she made her way down.
“I gave myself a one-by-one-foot radius and I couldn’t look outside of that radius until at least I got halfway down. Then I could stop and try to enjoy the view a little bit,” she said.
“It was gorgeous, beautiful. There were all these smiling faces at the bottom and blue sky, fresh air. It’s beautiful up there.”
Buckley said it was all for a great cause.
“Kids deserve a chance in life like everyone else does,” she said.
Rhonda Harrison, the senior development officer with Easter Seals Ontario’s Thunder Bay branch, said the Thunder Bay Drop Zone is based on similar events staged across Canada. It’s wild to see, said Harrison, who was harnessed and set to try it herself, only to realize her fear of heights wouldn’t allow it.
“They are brave souls. They’ve been working hard, being the superheroes for Easter Seals kids, collecting pledges, raising lots of money,” Harrison said.
“Coming down the ledge, that is a little intimidating. But I’m really proud of these people and all of their hard work. I’m very excited. It’s a great day.”
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