Rapelling from great heights to grant Red Deer wishes

  • Jul. 19, 2019 1:30 a.m.

Twenty brave individuals will rappel 13 storeys down Stantec Executive Place on Saturday for charity.

Make-A-Wish’s Rope for Hope encourages participants to raise a minimum of $1,500 in exchange for the thrill of rappelling down an iconic city building.

This year, 84-year-old Joe Hittel will rappel for the second time, again in his eye-catching leprechaun costume.

Having surpassed his goal of $30,000, Hittel is Canada’s top Rope for Hope fundraiser.

On average, each wish granted by the foundation costs $10,000, so Hittel and his supporters will be able to make three wishes possible.

“There are eight kids in Red Deer alone waiting to have their wish granted and there are nine more in central Alberta,” he said recently.

“It would be lovely if I could get three of them … sent to wherever they want to go.”

Rappelling alongside Hittel will be Anakin, whose wish was made possible through funds raised by Hittel last year. Anakin has raised almost $2,500 for the cause.

Funds collected through Rope for Hope are used locally to grant wishes for children with critical illnesses. This is the third year for Rope for Hope in Red Deer. Last year’s event raised more than $66,000.

More than 560 participants from across the country rappelled and helped raise $1.3 million to grant life-changing wishes in 2018.