About Over the Edge

Below are answers to questions that often come up about Over the Edge.


What is Over the Edge?

Over the Edge is a Canada-based special events company that provides signature events for nonprofit organizations anywhere in North America. Participants are invited to raise pledges in exchange for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of going over the edge of a local building. In Virginia, the Over the Edge crew handles the technical aspects of the event and Special Olympics recruits rappellers to participate in the event and raise money on their behalf. For more information about Over the Edge USA, please visit www.overtheedgeusa.com.


How does it work?

To go Over the Edge, individual participants must raise a minimum of $1000. “Toss Your Boss” groups/teams must raise $3000, and will receive sponsorship recognition based on fundraising goals. The majority of fundraising is done online through our donation portal, firstgiving (see below). For more information about incentives, please click here.


Is there a registration fee?

Yes, all participants must pay a $50 registration fee to begin the fundraising process (Toss Your Boss organizations should contact Katie Botha before registering, so sponsorship benefits can be discussed). So, essentially the participant must only raise an additional $950 to go Over the Edge, since the $50 fee counts towards your fundraising goal.


Are there Over the Edge events in other states?

Yes, many Special Olympics programs across the country are hosting Over the Edge events! If you have friends and family in other parts of the country, they can visit www.overtheedgeusa.com to see if there is an event nearby.


What does the money raised at Over the Edge benefit?

Over the Edge Richmond benefits Special Olympics Virginia. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

I don’t have any experience fundraising; how do I do it?

Thanks to our online fundraising portal at firstgiving.com, you can easily share your Over the Edge endeavor with friends and family near and far! When you register to go Over the Edge you will be prompted to create your own personal fundraising Web page. You can add photos, upload videos, and change the text on the page to help encourage your friends and family to support your Over the Edge efforts to benefit Special Olympics Virginia! Also, be sure to check out our Tools and Impact page for additional fundraising rescources.

How do I raise enough money to go Over the Edge?

  • You can collect “online” credit card donations by sending your friends and family a link to your personal fundraising page (click here to see how to create your own!).
  • You can also collect cash and check donations by using this form. “Offline” donors should include your name in the memo line of checks, and checks should be made out to Special Olympics Virginia. And don’t forget to record these donations on your firstgiving page by entering in the amount under “Amount Raised Offline.”
  • Cash and check donations can be mailed to Special Olympics Virginia up to one month before event day. We don’t encourage you to mail cash -- either drop it by one of our office, get a cashier’s check to mail, or turn it in on event day.
  • Before you know it, your friends, family and contacts will have helped you reach your fundraising goal and you’ll be rappelling down the side of a building!
  • Our office location for mailing: 3212 Skipwith Rd., Suite 100, Richmond, VA 23294.


Is the $50 registration fee counted toward my fundraising goal?

Yes! Essentially, you are contributing $50 toward your own goal and asking friends and family to help with the remaining. When you register, the $50 fee will be added to your fundraising page (this won’t be instant, but it will appear on your page within a few days). When the fee has been added, you will receive an e-mail from firstgiving letting you know that Special Olympics Virginia has confirmed an “offline gift” in your name. The $50 registration fee will appear among your other donations as, “Your first name, your last name initial, (RF)” – RF meaning registration fee.


What if someone wants to write a check or donate cash?

  • Checks should be made out to Special Olympics Virginia and your name (the rappeller or Toss Your Boss company name) should be written on the memo line.
  • You should collect checks and cash from your donors and mail them to Special Olympics Virginia.
  • We don’t encourage you to mail cash – either drop it by our office, get a cashier’s check to mail, or turn it in on event day.
  • It is important that we know that the check/cash donation should be credited to you, so make sure that information is available when you send in cash or checks. After Sept. 17, please hold on to any cash/checks you receive as donations, and bring them when you to check-in on event day.
  • If you have questions about donations or the accounting process, please contact Anita Dean, adean@specialolympicsva.org or 804.726.3023.
  • Our office location: 3212 Skipwith Rd., Suite 100, Richmond, VA 23294.


How do I add “offline” donations to my fundraising page?

  • If you receive cash and checks from donors, you can add these donations to your fundraising total by logging in to the backend of your firstgiving page.
  • Next, click the “Your Fundraising” tab, and select “Add offline donations.”
  • You’ll be prompted to enter the name of the donor and the amount he or she donated. Once you click “Continue,” the donation will appear on your fundraising page and it will be counted in your total.
  • When Special Olympics Virginia receives the cash/check in your name (you should mail these in, see above!), we will confirm the gift and you’ll get an e-mail letting you know the donation was received.
  • If you have questions about donations or the accounting process, please contact Anita Dean, adean@specialolympicsva.org or 804.726.3023.


Are donations tax deductible?

Yes, online contributions and checks are tax deductible. Firstgiving will automatically issue your donors a receipt for their gifts. This receipt can be used as support for a tax deduction. Special Olympics Virginia will issue receipts to donors contributing by check. Cash donations will not be issued a receipt unless presented on-site on event day.

What happens if I do not raise at least $1,000?


  • Minimum Fundraising Clause: Each individual participant must reach the minimum $1,000 to go Over the Edge. Teams/Toss Your Boss participants must reach the minimum $3,000 to go Over the Edge.
  • If minimum is not reached by 30 days prior to event day (Sept. 17, 2014), to secure your spot on the rope you must provide a credit card that will be charged the remaining balance if minimum is not achieved by event day (Oct. 17, 2014).
  • Each participant will have up to 30 days post event (Nov. 17, 2014) to reach the minimum $1,000 or $3,000 and the credit card charge (if applicable) will be refunded.
  • To access the credit card security deposit form, please click here.




Is there a minimum age limit to rappel?

No, but minors must have their waiver signed by a consenting parent or guardian.

Are there weight restrictions to rappel?

Yes, participants must be between 110-350 pounds to safely fit into the harness equipment.

What should I wear when I rappel?

You’re going to be walking down the side of the building so wear good shoes. No sandals, slip-on shoes, slippers, flip flops, high heels or steel toed boots are permitted. Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. The harness goes around your legs, waist and shoulders, so it is best to avoid anything too bulky. Long hair must be tied back. You will be given a pair of gloves and a helmet to wear while you rappel.


Can I rappel with a camera or other valuables?

  • We constantly worry about objects being dropped over the side, so personal cameras are not permitted. You won't have a free hand to take photos anyway!
  • We will have professional photographers on the roof and you'll receive the images after the event.
  • On event day, you will check-in droppable items like keys and cell phones, or jewelry that can get caught on things. No phones are allowed on the roof!


What else should I expect on rappel day?

Access more detailed information about what to expect on event day.


Who else is going Over the Edge?

Click here to see a list of rappellers registered for the Richmond event.



Is Over the Edge safe?

Absolutely! Over the Edge has never had a single incident or accident at any event since their inception in 2003. Every Over the Edge event is set up as an industrial worksite and as a result is compliant with all federal and state OSHA Fall Protection Standards and OSHA Federal and State Laws. Further to this, our policies and procedures adhere to the best practices identified by IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) counsel. This counsel is a strict regulatory body that has regimented guidelines and safety protocols that far exceed the OSHA, Workers Compensation and state labor codes. To read more about safety, visit the Over the Edge site.

Who will be setting up the rappel gear and what qualifications do they have?

All members of the Over the Edge technical team are IRATA and SPRAT certified industrial rope access technicians. We also rely on the help of volunteers from local fire departments, SWAT teams and AMGA Guides to assist with the ropes. All have extensive training in areas like rope rescue and/or are instructors in rope rescue or climbing.

How old are the ropes? When are they inspected and by whom?

The Over the Edge technical team regularly orders new ropes. They are inspected by our qualified technical staff at the start and end of each event. During the event, safety checks are performed for each person before they rappel, and every 2 1/2 hours the team re-inspects all the rigging.

Do I get to practice before the big rappel?

Yes! You will have the opportunity to practice before your big rappel. This practice session will help you get used to the harness, rappel device and technique for descending the building!

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