This June, two Spahn & Rose employees rappelled off Dubuque’s Hotel Julien as part of a fundraiser for United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States.
After enjoying the vistas from atop the historic eight-story hotel—and taking a few deep breaths—Spahn & Rose’s Dan Wachtel, Director of Informational Data, and Brent Schneider, Vice President of Operations, dropped off the side of the building and rappelled to the ground, then back up to the roof.
To participate, each over-the-edger had to raise at least $1,000; in all, the event garnered about $60,000 for United Way’s Community Impact fund, which supports 36 local programs to improve residents’ health, education and financial stability.
“Along with raising money for a good cause, the attraction is the adventure, and doing something different and out of my comfort zone,” Spahn & Rose’s Wachtel says. “I have a fear of heights, so conquering that was something I wanted to deal with head-on. Rappelling off the Julien seemed like a good way to challenge that fear.”
Wachtel, Schneider and more than 40 other over-the-edgers descended two at a time, cheered on by a crowd of more than 60 spectators. In addition to the rappelling, the United Way also had information booths and food trucks at the event, the first time it had been held in the Dubuque area.
“It was scary fun,” Wachtel says. “The experience was amazing, the ropes instructors were great, the view was awesome and the people below cheering you on made the rappel less nerve-racking. Standing on top of the Julien was amazing. I was looking forward to the different viewpoint of Dubuque.”
Spahn & Rose also sponsored the event, contributing $10,000 to be a Landing Zone sponsor.
In addition to raising money for the Community Impact Fund, Over the Edge also raised awareness about United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States’ mission. The event was so successful, in fact, that United Way of Dubuque is looking to repeat it in 2020.
United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States has been serving the community for 90 years, providing funding and other resources to the area’s strongest nonprofit programs, making an impact on health, education and income for the area’s most vulnerable residents. United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States currently supports 36 local programs across a 10-county area. In 2018, more than 42,000 people benefited from the programming supported by the local United Way’s Community Impact Fund.