YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Eighteen stories high and taller than the leaning Tower of Pisa — that’s the Metropolitan building in downtown Youngstown.
It is where those, including Mayors John McNally and Doug Franklin, as well as Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel rappelled “Over the Edge” on Friday.
Dozens more are expected to do the same on Saturday for the fundraiser benefiting the Beatitude House, in which organizers hope raises more than $100,000.
Kaitlyn Cobbs and her mother are former clients of the Beatitude House, which provides education and temporary housing to disadvantaged women and children in the community. Cobbs rappelled on Friday, because she said she knows how important the organization is to many families in the Valley, like hers.
“It helped her out a lot. She got back on her feet,” she said of her mother’s experience at the Beatitude House.
WKBN put a camera on Cobbs’ helmet as she made her way down, alongside Beatitude House Executive Director Sister Janet Gardner..
“It’s wonderful, because you see why we’re doing this,” Gardner said. “I would probably not jump off a building for any other reason.”
From the 17th floor, WKBN caught a glimpse of Mayor Franklin’s and Mayor McNally’s rappels.
“The hardest part was actually getting off the ledge, the first few steps,” Franklin said.
“It’s a lot of fun, a beautiful view,” said McNally, although he admitted that he tried not to look down.
From the ground, people watched YSU President Jim Tressel and Pam Volosin, the event’s biggest fundraiser, took the descent.
“It was when I got stuck part way down that was, I’m thinking, ‘I wonder how long I’ll be here.’ But it was all good,” Tressel said.
“It was a little scary at first, but a lot of fun,” Volosin said.
Each participant was grateful to have two feet back on Federal Street, where they were greeted by the cheers from spectators.
Sister Gardner said she is thankful that each one took on the challenge, knowing who it all benefits.
“Our women are going into the unknown, taking risks all the time, and it’s a lot harder, “she said. “I mean, this is a piece of cake compared to what they have to face, and they do it.”
The rappelling continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, along with a family fun Drop Zone.