Not afraid of heights? Adventurous can rappel downtown

Kyla Smith
The Detroit News

Daredevils can experience the thrill of rappelling from the top of a 341-foot downtown skyscraper Friday and Saturday to help raise money for children in Detroit and Nepal.

For $1,000, participants can use ropes to get from the top of the First National Building on Woodward to the street below.

Money raised goes to American Promise Schools education and scholarship programs in Detroit and to help rebuild schools in Nepal that were destroyed by an earthquake in 2015. APS has three schools in Detroit, Voyageur Academy, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and Consortium College Preparatory Academy.

Now in its second year, Detroit2Nepal Foundation, in partnership with Quicken Loans, Opportunity Detroit and Bedrock Detroit helped to sponsor Over the Edge, encouraging people to experience a breath-taking opportunity while contributing to a good cause.

So far, the event has raised more than $350,000 beating last year’s total of $230,000.

“We decided to bring back Over the Edge because Detroit and Nepal face similar needs when it comes to health care and education,” said Dr. Richard Keidan, director of Detroit2Nepal. “We thought this would be a great way to help both cities.”

A portion of the money raised helps to fund Beaumont Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology Long Term Follow Up Clinic, which provides medical care for pediatric cancer survivors suffering from health problems related to life-saving treatments.

For the less adventurous, Keidan said donations can be made at or if individuals would like to donate to a specific team. Participants are encouraged to form teams to help raise more money so more people can have the chance to rappel.

“I’m helping to raise money for Team Jeffrey, in honor of Jeffrey Surnow, one of the former board members for our foundation. He was killed by an on-duty police officer in Hawaii last year,” Keidan said. “Jeff played an intricate role in our organization and helping with a lot of our activities and fundraisers.”

For those who decide to go Over the Edge, no rappelling experience is required. Onsite instructions will be given by industrial rope specialists.

“The ropes are secure and safe. We didn’t have any problems last year and an emergency break rope is attached to each person,” Keidan said.

“I know some may be afraid of heights, but once you step out there, it’s a very exciting feeling, an amazing view and something you will never forget.”

(313) 222-1855


If you go

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: First National Building

660 Woodward Ave., Detroit