“The uniqueness of the event caught my attention and when I learned that it was to fight teen homelessness, there was no turning back.” —Shery Roussarie, CEO Allied Physicians of Michiana
“It’s something new for my adrenalin needs . . . and the Youth Service Bureau has saved countless lives . . . “ —Chet Zawalich, attorney, YSB board member
“Youth homelessness, especially in this area, is an invisible problem.” — Christina McGovern, YSB development & marketing
“I”m always game for an adventure. Rappel down a building . . . Why not?” —Becky Fletcher, Aloft Hotels
SOUTH BEND—The Over the Edge rappelling experience is coming to South Bend on Sept. 23. This once-in-a-lifetime event may seem a bit precarious—as far as fundraiser go—but that’s exactly what the Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County has in mind.
“People now like to do things that are more active rather than just attend an event,” said Christina McGovern, director of development and marketing with YSB. That’s why a well-timed e-mail from the Over the Edge organization caught her eye as the next YSB fundraiser.
The fact that YSB would be the only Over the Edge event in Indiana in 2017 was encouraging. But other reasons for hosting the event also resonated.
“It’s called Over the Edge—very fitting for the population we are serving. Our kids are on the edge of being homeless, of being in a crisis situation,” Christina said. One of the Edgers commented that the little bit of anxiety she is already feeling is nothing compared to the situation YSB teens experience daily.
YSB of St. Joseph County connects young people with immediate safety, believing all youth deserve safety and stability. “We provide hope where there is often none and guide young people on a path of self-sufficiency and success.” Christina said.
Edgers will not only be taking part in an amazing opportunity, but will be raising money to help end youth homelessness in St. Joseph County, which is estimated at 1,200.
The ysbsjc.org website is set up to help participants raise the minimum $1,000 to take the 70-foot challenge drop. Planning member Becky Fletcher, with Aloft Hotels, and several other YSB board members have pledged to be champion Edgers, working to raise $5,000 for their adventure. There’s room for 90 and the slots are already filling up.
Allied Physicians of Michiana was the first to jump on as a Rope Sponsor as well as having no trouble attracting three doctors and CEO Shery Roussarie to commit to the drop. “The uniqueness of the event caught my attention, and when I learned that it was to fight teen homelessness, there was no turning back!” Shery said.
Local attorney, Chet Zawalich, was one of the first to commit. While he admits, “it’s something new for my adrenalin needs,” his prime motivating factor is his heart for YSB that, “has saved countless young lives through their programming and dedication of staff and volunteers.” Chet goes “way back” with YSB, to the ‘70s when he was a juvenile probation officer and served on the board during the time the CASA program was formed. He has been a lawyer for CASA for 20 years.
As for Becky, on her way to raising $5,000: “I’m always game for an adventure, rappel down a building…why not?! Our kids should never be homeless, and if this adventure helps bring awareness to the community and the funds to support the fight, then I am all in!”
Christina and the staff at YSB hope the adrenalin reaches beyond the participants by way of raising funds and awareness for their most critically needed programs.
“Youth homelessness, especially in this area, is an invisible problem,” she said. “We have it here, but they don’t live under a bridge and they don’t self identify very well. They live in very unsafe situations.”
Belay on! Michiana Edgers. You have been dared!
Visit the ysbsjc.org website to learn more about Over the Edge. Even if you are not so motivated to make the drop yourself, those committed hope you will visit their fundraising page and contribute to their climb to raise $1,000.