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When most people go to One Logan Square in Philadelphia, they typically travel inside the building.
On Friday, however, people took to the top of the 31-story building to rappel down the side as part of a fundraiser for the Outward Bound School (POBS) in the city.
Team Rotary, started by Rotarians in West Chester, were one of the many who took part in the daring descent.
“The real impact of the event didn’t hit me until about an hour afterwards,” said Dennis Wallace, a member of Team Rotary and of the Greater West Chester Sunrise Rotary Club. “I think your brain kind of goes into an interesting place when you’re looking down – it just kind of freezes.”
Though it may have been a little frightening at first, Wallace and the other Rotarians made it down in one piece.
Not only was it a thrilling event to be a part of, Team Rotary also raised more money than expected for POBS.
“We raised just a (little) over $40,000,” Wallace said. “When you realize that and realize the impact on the recipients and young people who will be able to go on a life-altering course, that is great.”
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Wallace wasn’t alone as 17 other Rotarians joined him, all from different clubs throughout the area.
“We had 12 different Rotary Clubs come together for one cause,” Wallace said. “It was such a great bonding experience to work with other Rotarians. It was such a magnificent experience. I can’t wait to do it next year.”
Last year, West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta took part in the rappel. This year, she helped raised money, but gave her spot to a West Chester Area School District girl who could benefit from the experience.
The lucky student was Joselin Aviles, an eighth grader at Fugett Middle School.
POBS, which was founded during World War II, is for young people to learn character-growth skills so that they can assume leadership roles and can take positive approaches to life down the road.
“Once you realize the impact you’re going to have on young people’s lives, it can’t be beat,” Wallace said. “I’m thrilled to have raised money for Outward Bound and to support them and the work they do to change the trajectory of young people’s lives.”
When Comitta rappelled last year, the weather was terrible for her with the wind and rain. This time around, Wallace and the Rotarians enjoyed a beautiful day, though the wind was still a bit of a factor.
“There was a construction fence right behind where we set up tents and the wind was so strong that it almost blew that fence over,” Wallace said. “They will stop the rappelling if the winds get above 25 mph. When we were up on the roof, it was windy, but the winds came and went.
“The wind blew me several times 6 feet or more off to the side. That was kind of an interesting experience, too.”
It hasn’t even been a week since the rappel and already, many of Team Rotary are ready to take on the task again.
“It was really a thrilling experience,” Wallace said. “The bonding from all the clubs – it was just such a community-building experience. There was nothing negative, nothing went wrong and nothing bad about it.
“Not only is everybody eager to do it again, we anticipate more clubs being involved and more Rotarians from more clubs being involved. I think this is just the beginning.”