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Towle goes over the edge for charity

MLA Kerry Towle channelled her inner Batwoman and helped raise money for Easter Seals by rappelling down a 29-storey building in Edmonton on Thursday.

“I actually never drove by the building until this morning so I had no idea where it was or exactly what I’d be repelling off of because I didn’t want to know,” laughed Towle when she was safely back on the ground after her 1:15 p.m. plunge.

The Wildrose MLA for Innisfail and Sylvan Lake was among more than 60 brave souls who rappelled from the roof of The Sutton Place Hotel as part of the ninth annual Edmonton Easter Seals Drop Zone.

Each participant had to raise a minimum of $1,500 for Easter Seals Alberta, which provides mobility and accessibility equipment for children and adults with disabilities and special needs.

Rappellers were encouraged to wear superhero costumes when they lowered themselves down the side of the building like modern-day mountaineers. All participants attended a mandatory three-hour training session at a climbing gym before the event.

Towle said as a former cadet, she’d done some rappelling — but never off a sky-high building.

“Taking that first step off the edge of a 30-storey building on the rooftop, essentially looking down at everyone looking like ants, was pretty terrifying.

“You’re looking at it going, ‘Really, why am I here,’ ” she chuckled.

After her knees stopped shaking and she descended a few steps, it was actually fun, she said.

As the Wildrose critic for Human Services and Seniors, Towle said she meets people every day who are challenged by the resources available for persons with developmental disabilities.

“As a person whose brother died of Huntington’s, I know that access to these kinds of resources are very difficult. Easter Seals provides quality aids.”

Coincidently, Towle said after she put on her costume, she discovered she couldn’t use her phone because of the gloves and it reminded her of the frustration people with mobility problems experience all the time.

She challenges more Albertans to get involved in the Easter Seals Drop Zone fundraising campaign.

“If you don’t think you can, support someone who can because it’s a fantastic organization that is really helping a lot of Albertans.”

She said her Wildrose colleague Calgary-Shaw MLA Jeff Wilson challenged her to rappel in Edmonton. He was rappelling in Calgary campaign.



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