84-year-old rappels down 13-storey Red Deer building – again

84-year-old rappels down 13-storey Red Deer building – again

An eighty-four-year-old Red Deerian says wasn’t afraid to rappel down the 13-storey Stantec building.

Joe Hittel was part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s annual event that calls on participants to raise money and rappel down the side of high-profile buildings in several Canadian cities.

The money raised goes toward granting the wishes of children with critical illnesses.

On average, each wish granted by the foundation costs about $10,000.

Hittel’s efforts raised about $33,000 Saturday morning. He was happy to be able to grant wishes for three children, all thanks to his supporters and donors.

The money he raised made Hittel Canada’s top Rope for Hope fundraiser. That title is special to the senior, given that he aspired to get there when he was raising money last year for the same cause.

“Last year, I raised over $14,000 and I was No. 2 in Canada, and that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to be No. 1 in Canada.”

Hittel donned a leprechaun outfit for the occasion, and unlike some other participants, said he wasn’t nervous.

“I wasn’t scared last year, either. It has been a great adventure for me,” he said, adding he’s proud to be helping kids with the support of his donors.

“I took my time getting down – I wasn’t worried or scared. But my family down here was freaking out,” he said with a chuckle.

This year, Hittel had Anakin Suerink by his side during the rappelling. Suerink’s wish was granted last year when the teen went to Disney World.

Since he was born, he has had health problems, including epilepsy, scoliosis and brain tumours.

Hittel has met with many parents whose children had their wishes granted by the charity.

“The stories I heard about their sons and daughters when I was going around for donations, that made me push further,” he said.

“I do have a big family. I have grandchildren and great grandkids and everybody is all right, but hey, who knows what can happen? Things can change any day,” said.

Rappelling down the Stantec building was a first for 31-year-old Adam Lebert.

The Red Deer resident was nervous as he stood at the edge of the building, about to rappel down.

“After the edge, it wasn’t too bad, honestly. That edge was almost impossible. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” he said.

Lebert said he would do it again, as long as it is for a good cause.

“It’s just really satisfying to see the whole project come together, see the other people who were fundraising and meet some of the kids.”



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Collin Orthner, manager at McBain Camera in downtown Red Deer, stands behind the store’s counter on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
A few Red Deer businesses happy with Black Friday results

While this year’s Black Friday wasn’t as successful as it was in… Continue reading

Le Chateau Inc. is the latest Canadian firm to start producing personal protective equipment for health care workers, in a July 3, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Hundreds of millions of dollars for frontline workers yet to be released, says Alberta Federation of Labour

Information recently released by the Alberta Federation of Labour suggests more than… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Man killed in two-vehicle collision near Penhold, says Blackfalds RCMP

A 46-year-old man is dead following a two-vehicle collision on Highway 42… Continue reading

Banff National Park. (The Canadian Press)
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks… Continue reading

Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lisa Rathke
Feds unveil more funding for dairy, poultry and egg farmers hurt by free trade deals

OTTAWA — Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Canada's top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track for new COVID-19 infections as case counts continue mounting in much of the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
COVID-19 cases in Canada remain on troubling course, Tam says, amid rising numbers

Canada’s top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track… Continue reading

hay
Hay’s Daze: Giraffe knows filling wishes can sometimes be a tall order

Last weekend, I had a lovely breakfast. “So what?” you may say.… Continue reading

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says tonight's public video gaming session with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about reaching young people where they hang. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP leader stoked over ‘epic crossover’ in video gaming sesh with AOC

Singh and AOC discussed importance of universal pharmacare, political civility, a living wage

A south view of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf breaking apart is seen from Ward Hunt Island, Nunavut, in an Aug. 20, 2011, handout photo. The remote area in the northern reach of the Nunavut Territory, has seen ice cover shrink from over 4 metres thick in the 1950s to complete loss, according to scientists, during recent years of record warming. Scientists are urging the federal government to permanently protect a vast stretch of Canada's remotest High Arctic called the Last Ice Area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CEN/Laval University, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Scientists urge permanent protection of Last Ice Area in Canada’s High Arctic

Tuvaijuittuq has the thickest and oldest ice in the Arctic

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $55 million Lotto Max jackpot

No winning ticket was sold for the $55 million jackpot in Friday… Continue reading

Most Read