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January 22, 2020 January 22, 2020

Facing fear for a noble cause

Posted on August 21, 2019 by Greg Bobinec
Lethbridge Herald file photo by Ian Martens David Gabert, dressed as Batman, makes his way over the edge of the rooftop to rappel down the Lethbridge Centre tower in August 2018 as part of the Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope event raising money to help grant wishes to critically ill children in southern Alberta.

The Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta Rope for Hope challenge, where participants have the opportunity to rappel from Melcor Centre, is returning to Lethbridge at the end of the month.
On Aug. 28, participants who signed up with Make-A-Wish and raised the minimum $1,500 can take on the challenge of rappelling down the edge of a high building. The fundraiser goes directly towards granting the wishes of children who are living with critical illnesses in southern Alberta.
“Rope for Hope is our largest direct fundraiser of the year and what happens is participants sign up and they raise a minimum of $1,500 and in return they get the opportunity to rappel down the Melcor Centre in Lethbridge and then all of the proceeds go towards wish granting for kids in southern Alberta,” says Melissa Nelson, fund development officer with Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta.
“It is a little bit of a conquering challenge because your body is telling you this isn’t right to be over the building, but you think about the fear you face there and the challenge it is and then you think about the wish kids and all that they have to go through because they don’t have a choice, and after that it is pretty easy to do.”
This is the second year that Make-A-Wish has hosted the Rope for Hope fundraiser in Lethbridge and is hoping that this year they will be able to meet their goal of $40,000. Each wish granted to a child in the community costs an average of $10,000 and Make-A-Wish is hoping to make the dreams of four local children come true.
“Wish kids are faced with critical illness that they didn’t ask for and they can’t control, their wish is often the first time that they are in control or directing those things, and through this event we can raise awareness about that,” says Nelson.
Returning to the rappelling event this year is wish child Riley, who received his wish a few years ago. Since his wish was granted, Riley and his family have been dedicated in participating in all of the Make-A-Wish fundraising opportunities, and this year he is back with a higher goal to achieve.
“Riley was granted his wish several years ago, he wanted to be a Chicago Blackhawk player so he went down there and he got to be out there with his favourite players and had an incredible experience for him and his family,” says Nelson.
“He is doing super well these days and him and his family continue to give back to Make A Wish because they had such a tremendous experience that they are always looking for opportunities to give back to the organization. Riley will be out there this year and is hoping to raise his goal of $3,000.”
If you would like to start your fundraising goal to help critically ill children in the area have an experience of a lifetime, visit makeawish.ca to register and sign up for the Lethbridge Rope for Hope challenge this month.

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