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Rappel For A Reason

September 6-7, 2019

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

1000 SW Broadway

Portland OR

Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest builds bonds to change lives through strong and enduring, one to one relationships and a network of support. Now we challenge you to step up to the edge and rappel down 24 stories in downtown Portland. The first 65 individuals to raise a minimum of $1,500 by September 1, 2019 will earn a spot to Rappel For A Reason for Big Brothers Big Sisters on September 7th! No climbing or rappelling experience is necessary, anyone can participate! 

September 6th is our sponsor, VIP and media day! If you happen to see folks rappelling down the building on Friday the 6th of September, don’t worry, you haven’t missed the event!

Have you completed your fundraising? Are you ready to get to the top of 1000 SW Broadway? Check out this document for more information about how to best prepare for this big day. And congratulations! Not only are you doing something BIG for you, but you are doing something HUGE for so many kids in Portland. 

Interested in sponsoring Rappel For A Reason 2019? Please download our sponsorship packet for opportunities on how your company can get involved!


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in Rappel For A Reason?

Anyone dedicated to helping at-risk youth and wants to step up to the challenge to Rappel For A Reason is welcome to participate! There are a few requirements: Participants must weight between 100 and 300 pounds and raise a minimum of $1,500. Participants must be over the age of 18. No prior experience is necessary, just enough courage to Rappel For A Reason!

What is the registration fee?

Each participant pays a $50 registration fee. That fee is counted towards your fundraising minimum, so you are already part of the way there!

How do I guarantee my spot?

You guarantee your spot by raising $1,500. We will book Rappelers in spots as soon as they hit the minimum fundraising goal.

You can reserve your spot to Rappel For A Reason by filling out a Credit Card Security Deposit Form. If you haven’t reached the fundraising minimum by the September 1, 2019 deadline your card will be charged the difference. For example, if you raise $950 by October 1, 2018, your card will be charged $550.00 and you’ll be able to go Rappel For A Reason!

What happens if it's raining on event day?

Typically Over the Edge can operate in rain. When rain, lightning, wind or heat become extreme, the event will be delayed at least 10 minutes from the last observed strike or sound of thunder or until the conditions ease and are deemed safe by event personnel. Event organizers will reach out to all participants if weather affects rappel time.

Once you have signed up for your rappel, we will notify you in case of a full day rain delay.

What can I expect on event day?

Please arrive one hour prior to your rappel time at 1000 SW Broadway. Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers will be onsite to direct you and take you through the staging area to training and then your rappel! After you have successfully completed your challenge you are free to watch other rappels or leave the event. Don’t forget to sign up for next year!

Can I practice before I rappel?

When you arrive on the roof you will have the opportunity to practice rappelling from a lesser height on a tripod. This will give you a chance to hang in the harness, find a comfortable position, and practice using the descender. You can practice a few times before heading to the actual rappel–most rappellers only need one practice round and are ready to go. The same safety procedures are used in the training as in the long rappel so you will be familiar with them when you get there.

How long will it take?

From registration to rappelling, your thrill of a lifetime should take approximately 1.5 hours. The actual rappel will average 10 minutes but could be as long as 20+ minutes depending on the individual’s rappelling pace. Afterwards, you are welcome to stay and cheer on other participants!

What should I wear?

Please wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. You will be provided with helmets, harnesses and all other rappelling equipment needed. No sandals, slip-on shoes, slippers, flip flops, high heels, or steel toed boots will be allowed.

We ask that you wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt. It is going to be cold on top of that building! Athletic pants, tights, and jeans are fine. The harness goes around your legs, waist, and shoulders, so it is best to avoid anything too bulky. Shirts should be comfortable and without draw cords or embellishments that could get caught. Long hair should be tied back.

Please also note: all personal items including cell phones and cameras must be left at registration.

Can I wear a costume?

Absolutely! We love costumes! They are subject to the same limitations as baggy clothing. Every attempt will be made to safely fit costumes around harnesses and helmets. As with shorts, it is ultimately the decision of the Site Safety Supervisor. Stringy, loose, or excessive costumes must be avoided. Head pieces that will not accommodate a helmet, obscure the vision, or are notably large or heavy will rarely be allowed.

Where does the money go?

All of the money raised at this event goes to further the mission and work of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Portland metro area. Every Rappeler has to raise at least $1,500, which is the cost of one match from background checks to match support and activities through their first year.

How long do I have to raise the funds?

You have until September 1, 2019 to raise the $1,500 minimum. Should you not meet this minimum fundraising amount by event day and still wish to rappel, you will be required to pay the remaining amount before you will be permitted to take part in the rappel. This can be done by filling out the credit card guarantee form.

What happens if I don't raise $1,500?

If you do not have 50% of your $1,000 ($500) by two weeks prior to your rappel you will be contacted by us to discuss your progress and your ability to raise the funds by event day. We’re here to help you! There will also be incentives and contests throughout the event that you can participate in to lower the minimum. In the end, you can fill out the credit card guarantee form which means that you are taking on the responsibility of paying the difference.

Will I get a tax receipt

Yes. All donations made through the online fundraising system will be issued a tax receipt.

Can I raise money offline?

Absolutely. Please contact our office to arrange for a drop off of funds. Remember, we cannot credit you for raising the complete amount of $1,500 until we have cash/check in hand. Please made sure to contact us about all offline giving.

Email Jodi Kansagor, Individual Giving Manager at [email protected] or call 971.302.2152

What if we raised the money, but decided that we do not want to rappel?

All monies raised are considered a donation to Big Brothers Big Sister Columbia Northwest and are non-refundable. If you or someone on your team does not wish to rappel on event day, you may offer a replacement to rappel in his/her place provided appropriate waivers are signed and they have registered on the site with BBBS staff.

What is Over The Edge?

Over The Edge is a special events company that provides signature events for non-profit organizations around the world. Business leaders, individuals, and community members are invited to raise donations in exchange for the experience of going Over The Edge of a prominent building. This unique event generates front page news, raises thousands of dollars and provides participants with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Over The Edge is responsible for all technical aspects of the event including the insurance, professional staff, and rappelling equipment. Their mission is to create a legacy with a 10-year goal to help non-profit organizations throughout North America raise $50 million dollars.

Is this event safe?

Every Over The Edge event sets up as an industrial work site that is OSHA compliant and based on IRATA and SPRAT rigging and safety best practices. We use industrial equipment that is similar to the gear used by professionals in the rope access industry. Our event staff includes some of the best and highly trained rope access technicians in the world. Our impeccable safety record is a testament to these high standards. Each event site has a comprehensive Site Inspection & Safety Plan completed and if every potential risk cannot be mitigated, then the site will simply not be approved. For a more detailed explanation click here.