Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly? Liberating, relaxing, powerful, exhilarating… now take those feelings and apply them to a real-life experience: scaling down a 25 storey building.
For the 17th annual Easter Seals Drop Zone, this “knee-shaking, heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping fundraising adventure” raised a whopping $208,000 last year and is on track for their goal of $250,000, in 2022! “That would go a long way, that’s for sure,” said Sam.
Fifty-six rapellers (9 teams and individuals) scaled the Guinness Tower yesterday afternoon, alongside the beautiful shining sun and a nice breezy 20 degrees celsius. Sam Bishop-Thomas, consultant and event manager of multiple Easter Seals events, has done this 250 foot rappel so she knows all too well what participants are going through. What about those needing that extra bit of help, or motivation getting over the side of the building? “When someone’s scared, and we’ve had that today,” started Sam, “I mean, there’s been some people that have been in tears and terrified – I say to them (and I can only draw from my own experience doing it): ‘Look directly at those crew that are there to help you. And they’re keeping you safe. Lock eyes with them.’ Then my personal thing was, don’t look down, don’t look right. Don’t look left.” Don’t look anywhere sounds like a good plan, but for teams that have been doing this every year taking the leap over the edge is coming up to second nature. Crews on ground floor help each repeller strap in and understand the basics before taking the elevator up. “Just look at the carabiner and enjoy and just get down. Because, trust me, once you do it, you’ll be so proud of yourself. And every time you go by that building and you see it, you’re just going to be, ‘Wow, I did that! So that’s what I tell people,'” said Sam.
Can we talk about the view from above for a moment? The Guinness Tower, nestled in-between commercial skyscrapers on West Hastings in Coal Harbour, is certified BOMA Best Level 3 and is LEED Gold Certified, in other words: cares about the environment and health of the people. Every direction of the roof pad is a sight to see, but we aren’t here to pull up a chair and watch the sunset, it’s time to tighten our ropes and take you with us down the side of the glass building.
Easter Seals has made sure that all their activities are approved for all abilities, whether you are on two feet or in a wheelchair, Drop Zone is for everyone – safe and accessible.
One of the great things about Drop Zone is that as the event is physically distant, “there was no need to stop it for Covid which was fantastic,” said Sam, “I mean, like everything, people are just a little bit more comfortable being around and watching, experiencing… Yeah, everywhere you go now, people are just probably a little bit more relaxed.”
Every year, many of the rapellers take to wearing a costume! There has been superheros, Disney costumes, bears, doctors, you name it! We asked Sam what some of her favourite have been over the years, “Oh my gosh. You know what’s really fun to see, is some of the people get really creative with just capes to do their own kind of messaging that they want on them. We’ve had people dressed up in lion costumes, full different comic outfits…. Yeah. It’s the first one, so we’ll see what the other three present, as well. Then I could tell you my favourite.
Four Drop Zone events happen every year in different areas of town.
Vancouver, having just passed on September 8th at Guinness Tower; Burnaby is on Tuesday the 13th, at Metro Tower I; Surrey event is on the 16th, at Central City Office Tower; Kelowna is on the 20th, Landmark 6, in the Landmark District.
For more information please visit The Drop Zone.
An event put on by the Easter Seals.
Do you have your Easter Seals 75th Anniversary collectable Art Pin yet? Limited quantities available! Hurry get yours today before it’s gone.