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WDAY personalities go "Over the Edge" for Charism

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Photo credit: 'Over the Edge' 2 / 2

FARGO N.D. — Now, this is a creative way for a local charity to raise money.

In front of hundreds in Downtown Fargo, volunteer rappellers stood on the edge of the 8 story Black Building and then, leaned back.

WDAY's Kevin Wallevand was one of them, he tells us his story of being "Over the Edge."

It was the second year Charism brought in this unique fundraiser to help raise money for its special programming, benefiting 'at risk' students.

It seemed simple, a harness system, some rigging, a few clips. And then a quick primer, how to lean back and rappel an 8 story building.

Not too many nerves until I got to the edge, to be honest, I did not look down. I couldn't, my legs were shaking.

But then it was the point of no return, I started the descent. Again, still not looking.

But then, some realization I might as well take a look at downtown from above.

Quite a view, but seriously this was way too high, I never even liked bunk beds.

Meantime, my much younger WDAY colleagues treated this like kid's day at the fair.

"I am going to see who I can beat," WDAY Reporter Emily Olson, said.

"Heels over the edge. Here we go, my heels are over the edge," WDAY Anchor Rob Manch, said.

WDAY First News crew, Rob Manch, and Sarah Rudlang turned rappelling into team building.

"A major First News Trust Test," Sarah said as she rappelled down.

Our First News Reporter Emily Olson was a pro, stepping her way down the Black Building in record time.

"That was so scary," Olson said.

Our Stormtracker Meteorologist Lydia Blume rappelled for the first time and was glad to be back on the ground.

"I am happy to be on the ground but happy to conquer the Black Building," said Blume.

All rappelling for a cause today, Charism, which for more than 20-years, has been a leader in working with at-risk children in Fargo, year round.

"Our big arms are after-school programming, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, that is the danger zone, when kids can get into all kinds of stuff, we provide a safe, enriching, healthy, academic robust atmosphere for the kids to be at," John Fisher, Charism Executive Director, said.

At times I felt very powerless hovering above Broadway, hanging by a couple of ropes, but soon the cheers welcomed me to the pavement, I darn near kissed it.

Nearly 100-people rappelled down the Black Building,.raising thousands of dollars.

If you would like to donate or check out some of the programming Charism put on, CLICK HERE.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

(701) 241-5317
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