Evansville is getting ready for the second Over the Edge 4 Granted event on April 29. This fundraiser features participants rappeling down CenterPoint Energy’s nine-story building on Riverside Drive, all while raising funds for the nonprofit organization Granted.
Granted is dedicated to helping children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses, as well as their families, within a 100-mile radius of Evansville. The organization’s Beyond the Wish programming offers families support, events, community engagement opportunities, resources, wellbeing activities, and more. That’s where Over the Edge 4 Granted comes in — it’s a chance for thrill-seekers and adventurers to fundraise and make a difference in their community.
Jeff Purdue serves as the Granted board of directors’ vice president. He says the event will be bigger this year than 2022’s inaugural event, as it includes a street-festival environment around the CenterPoint Energy building on Court Street with food trucks, games, face painting, and more. The crowd also can watch participants rappel on a big screen.
Last year, 110 participants climbed down on two rope stations. This year will see more than 160 participants on three rope stations. Eight children who have received wishes from Granted also will rappel. Many rappellers dress up in costumes, and this year, participants and supporters have planned to attend as teams of KISS band members, super villains, variations of singer Britney Spears, bank robbers, and more.
Purdue says most people are excited for the adrenaline rush of rappelling, but he really admires the people who are terrified.
“They’re doing it to pay tribute to these families’ struggle, even though they’re terrified,” he says. “Most of us have been abundantly blessed with good health and children, and these families and children don’t have that. Those of us that don’t need to fight these battles owe it to these families to support them. It’s a supportive and loving community.”
After last year’s Over the Edge 4 Granted goal of $150,000 was surpassed by $120,000, the organization set its 2023 fundraising goal at $275,000 to grant more wishes and expand Beyond the Wish programming. Individual rappellers are tasked with raising at least $1,000 through their experience, and donations can be made here.