Robin Gould turned 40 this year.
So far she’s sky dived, taken a Disney cruise and swam with dolphins.
On Friday the Thunder Bay woman took another leap of faith, literally, rappelling 14 storeys down the side of Maplecrest Towers, raising more than $2,500 for Easter Seals kids.
“It’s one of my 40 significant things in my year of 40. I’ve been doing all kinds of fun things and this looked like something fun to do,” she said, moments after touching down on terra firma, her gravity-defying feat already in the history books.
“It’s for a great cause. It’s amazing, great for the kids.”
Unlike last year’s inaugural event, this year’s Drop Zone Challenge was sold out, with nary an opening for last-minute entrants.
Among the first to test the 150-foot line was CKPR morning show co-host Laura Zaina. Admittedly terrified of heights, Zaina nonetheless conquered her fear and, after a few false starts, slowly made her way down the side of the Beverly Street apartment complex.
“I think I was a little bit more than a little bit nervous,” said Zaina, whose husband Joe preceded her in the challenge for a second straight year.
“I thought that this year, because I did it last year, would be easier. No.”
But she’d do it again in a heartbeat, she said.
“It’s for the kids, it’s for Easter Seals. Last year, when they asked (co-host) Danny (Fortesta) and I if we wanted to do this Drop Zone, and I said no. Then they said it was for Easter Seals kids and I said, ‘Of course.’ Anything for the kids, pretty much.”
Foresta was making his first climb down the tower, a vacation taking him out of town a year ago. This year he pushed his holidays back a few days, ensuring he’d be ready to rappel.
It was a blast, he said, though it was nerve-wracking at first.
“What I wanted to do was keep it really playful and cheerful. I felt good about it. A couple of weeks before today’s event I was really getting it from friends and people were saying, ‘How do you feel,’ and ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,’” Foresta said.
“But I really felt good. I can honestly tell you that I didn’t feel nervous. The only thing I was not looking forward too was actually stepping over the edge. That was the hardest part. But once I had my feet in place against the wall, it felt good.”
Rhonda Harrison, spokeswoman for Easter Seals, said the cross-country event has really caught on in Thunder Bay.
“We almost doubled the amount of rappellers we have coming down. We have a full day. Every 10 minutes someone is going to be coming down Maplecrest Towers,” she said.
The end result is what it’s all about.
“The participants collected pledges so it’s going to help kids with physical disabilities. We help them purchase equipment for mobility, communication devices and send them to summer camps.”
A $5 donation can still be made by texting ‘Easter’ to 45678.
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