Ashley Jackson and Jessi Reding took a once in a lifetime challenge last week that required a leap of faith as they stepped over the edge of a 345-foot tall building in downtown Des Moines and rappeled down the side.
The challenge was part of the Over the Edge for Special Olympics Iowa, held Sept. 21 in Des Moines. A group of brave climbers who raised at least $1,000 had the chance to rappel the Financial Building in downtown Des Moines. In addition to raising $1,000, those taking part had to be at least 14-years old and between 110 and 300 pounds.
Jackson said that she learned about Over the Edge while helping her grandfather raise funds for Special Olympics.
"I had such an amazing experience the entire time I was in Des Moines. I can't explain the happiness it brought to the athletes who were watching for you when you got to the ground. They gave us flowers and shook hand and took pictures with us," she said. "Seeing them so happy made me realize I was going to be going Over the Edge every year."
Reding said she took part in the event because she knew it was a good cause and it seemed exciting.
"The event was perfect for me because I love the thrill of new adventures and at the same time knowing that you're helping to make a difference in someone's life is priceless," she said.
Both women agreed that they would without hesitation, do the descent again.
"Going Over the Edge was so rewarding, that if the opportunity arises again, I would say yes in a heartbeat," Reding said.
For more information about Over the Edge, visit the website, www.soiowa.org/overtheedge