A young boy looks on as Batman repels down the CIBC building on View Street for the Make a Wish Foundation’s Rope for Hope event. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

A young boy looks on as Batman repels down the CIBC building on View Street for the Make a Wish Foundation’s Rope for Hope event. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria heroes rappel 15 storeys for the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Over $60,000 raised at city’s first Rope for Hope event

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … well, actually it’s over 40 heroes rappelling down the CIBC building on View Street for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

For the first time, the national Rope for Hope event took place in Victoria May 23 and 24, which let volunteers and prolific community members rappel down 15 storeys to raise money for sick kids.

There were superheroes in full costume and others wearing neon shirts.

“It was amazing,” said Melissa Gillespie, adding that she wasn’t scared at all. “I went to Stelly’s, so I grew up rock climbing.”

Her friend, Hayley Van Nerum, was a little more hesitant.

“I’ve been bungee jumping before, but it was nothing like this,” she said. “It was scary and I was shaking; the hardest part was going over the edge.”

Hayley Van Nerum (left) and Melissa Gillespie repelled down the CIBC building on View Street to raise money for The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s “Rope for Hope” event. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Van Nerum said she could get over the edge because Gillespie was beside her. As she was standing on the ground, still shaking, she laughed and said she kind of wanted to do it again.

In order to climb down the building, volunteers needed to raise a minimum of $1,500, but no additional experience is required. Make-A-Wish Foundation Vancouver Island director Simone Conner said the goal was to raise $50,000, but by midday Thursday they were already well over $64,000.

“It’s been a huge success; the community in Victoria is very caring and giving and they want to be engaged,” she said, sporting a Batgirl costume. “Make-A-Wish grants almost 25 per cent of all wishes in B.C. and the Yukon to Vancouver Island children, so we are very active here.”

Conner didn’t always work for Make-A-Wish; she started volunteering after her son, then 12, received a wish after he was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. He got to meet Washington Capitals’ captain, Alex Ovechkin.

“It was life changing,” Conner said. “It came at a time when he lost hope and strength. He was angry that he was sick and tired. It restored hope, strength and joy.”

After the meeting with Ovechkin, she turned to a Capitals’ coach and promised to help grant as many wishes as she could, not knowing she’d end up getting a job. Her son is still an active hockey fan, and Conner’s position at the Foundation has given her a light, too.

“It’s turned my pain into purpose,” she said.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has other events coming up on the Island, including a Film Fest in Nanaimo on June 9 and a Fashion for a Wish event at Victoria’s Moxie’s Restaurant on June 14.

To learn more or to make a donation, you can go to makeawishbc.ca/vancouver-island.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

charityMake-a-wish foundation

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Hot rods, rad rods, muscle and sports cars spanning the decades made their way in a parade from North Saanich to Victoria on June 19. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Classic cars cruise Saanich Peninsula in advance of Father’s Day

Retirement home residents from North Saanich to Victoria treated to a spectacle of hot rides

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read