DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2019) - "Over The Edge at ONE DAYTONA" has landed nicely in this community. The opening day of the third annual fundraising event for The NASCAR Foundation and Easterseals Northeast Central Florida was held on Friday, with hearty souls braving 20-mph winds and an eight-story/102-foot descent, rappelling down the front of the International Motorsports Center to benefit the two organizations.
The spectacle was undeniable, especially when it came to seeing NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace lead things off. But the real story was behind the scenes and in the books – Over the Edge At ONE DAYTONA has now raised close to $500,000 over three years, with funds going toward providing health care services in the Daytona Beach area for children in need. Funds are raised by rappellers, who secure sponsors for the event.
Wallace, a member of The NASCAR Foundation’s Board of Directors, has become an Over The Edge veteran of sorts. He has participated in the fundraising activity five times – three times in Daytona Beach and twice in Charlotte, North Carolina. That participation reflects Wallace’s overall commitment to the foundation since it was started in 2006 by the late Betty Jane France.
"It was Betty Jane’s dream to put the foundation together and raise all this money for children." Wallace said, "and once you start doing that, it gives you a fantastic feeling. And to see all the money the foundation has raised, it’s just incredible.
"People get really excited about this. They get jacked up, going over the edge. It’s really a rush, too."
Wallace, saying he "always enjoys dropping the green flag" on things, was joined by Ormond Beach businesswoman Sheryl Cook for the event’s first round of rappelling. Other notable rappellers on hand were Tina Farbolin and Chloe Gurnow representing Jeep Beach; Harold Goodemote of Coleman-Goodemote Construction, Steve Freeman of Morgan Stanley, Roger Dominey of Mass Mutual, Easterseals Northeast Central Florida board member Jim Barocas, as well as Katie Palmer and Austin Brownlee of Brown & Brown.
"We’re rappelling for a cause, that’s why we’re here," said Nichole Krieger, executive director of The NASCAR Foundation. "Regarding this event, we like to say ‘let’s be brave for kids on this day and go over the edge.’ After all, this is ultimately all about the kids.
"With this event today, we’re basically raising awareness and raising money – much-needed money," said Easterseals President and CEO Bev Johnson. "One of the greatest things about this event is that it’s done in a partnership. Working together with The NASCAR Foundation has been a wonderful partnership. Each of us does great work but by combining forces we have that much more reach and that much more impact on our community."
Over the Edge At ONE DAYTONA continues on Saturday, with the general public invited to participate. Registered participants must raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations to earn a spot in the rappelling lineup.
"This is really fun for the rappellers because you can have your friends and family participate by supporting your effort [through donations],"Krieger said. "It’s a great way to get a lot of people involved in what we’re all passionate about – helping the kids."