Going “over the edge” ought to be second nature for an organization that’s used to stepping out on faith.
Like many non-profits, MentorKids Kentucky is constantly in need of funding and volunteers to support their mission of providing adult, Christian mentors to children in the community. Through MentorKids, trained mentors come alongside mentorees one hour a week to offer hope, support, encouragement, and character building.
After doing typical fundraisers and banquets over the years, the MentorKids board was in search of a creative, new approach to fundraising. Something that was fun and exciting and would get people’s attention.
You know, like rappelling off the edge of the Hampton Inn-Waterfront Hotel.
Sarah Kenworthy is credited with the idea of bringing in Over The Edge, a company that specializes in non-profit signature events. Sarah heard about Over The Edge at one of their events in Nashville.
According to Director Berly Tillman Sullivan, the next chapter of this story is nothing less than a miracle. The board was brainstorming names for someone to serve as honorary chairman and be the first one over the edge. Someone suggested having Bill Barron ask Governor Matt Bevin. Apparently, the idea was crazy enough to get his attention. A week later, Governor Bevin was on board and accommodations were finalized to get him to Owensboro for the event.
“This whole thing came about because of Jesus and Bill Barron’s character, that’s the only way I can explain how this happened,” explained Sullivan, still amazed and smiling wildly. “Having the governor adds validity to the event.”
Here’s how it works:
Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $1,000 to donate to MentorKids to be eligible to rappel down the side of the Hampton Inn-Waterfront on Saturday, August 27. So far, 17 have met the mark. There are still slots available for the next 70 thrill seekers willing to raise the money.
Despite her terrible fear of heights, Berly is going over the edge herself. To be a good example, she exceeded the $1,000 with pledges from family and friends. “I felt like I couldn’t ask others to do this if I wasn’t willing to do it myself,” Sullivan said. To date, she has raised $3,025. How did she do it? A large chart on her office wall shows in detail who she asked, when she asked them, how much they pledged, and whether they’ve paid or not. “There is power in the personal ask,” she says. “Anyone can do it, and I’ll be glad to help them with a chart just like this to get them started.”
Participants are also invited to a family-friendly V.I.P. “Altitude Adjustment Party” with Governor Matt Bevin at the Hampton Inn Friday night.
Most participants are rappeling as an individual, but there are also “toss your boss” and “toss your pastor” options where offices or congregations can pool their money together to send their boss or pastor over the edge.
If you’re interested in going Over the Edge for MentorKids, contact Jill Faulkner at 270.926.6893. Read more at MentorKidsKy.org.
Independence Bank is the presenting sponsor for the event. Many other sponsors are supporting the cause, including Texas Gas, William G Barron Enterprises, Henry’s Plumbing and Heating, Sun Windows, Gray Wolf Industries, Hampton Inn and Suites, and in honor of John and Betty Yager.
The money raised from Over the Edge for MentorKids Kentucky will be used to hire another Mentor Coordinator to assist Maria Shyver.