“The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Ever Done”

May 6, 2024


by Laurie Lendon

What was it like to rappel down the Chase building in downtown Columbus? Welcome to one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.

I quickly realized that It was more than the 13 stories I’d been bragging about. Our COhatch team was myself and Jorge Sanclemente, one of our original Delaware members. We took the elevator up to the 21st floor, then, after ducking pipes, started walking up flights of stairs. It began to sink in that it was about to happen, but panic was kept at bay by encouraging signs and volunteers thanking us for what we were about to do. When we got out on the roof, we were greeted by wispy clouds curling around the towering CHASE letters suspended above us. It was haunting, beautiful, and frightening.

So why was I standing 330 feet above the city (actually 26 stories!) dressed in a helmet, harness, and gloves? Over the Edge is the major fundraiser for Gracehaven, one of our Impact Scholars. They are the only licensed therapeutic residential group home and specialty care provider for survivors of child sex trafficking. The shocking fact is that there are more than 1,100 identified youth trafficked every year in Ohio, and worse, most are sold by friends and parents. Who knows how many are unknown? Gracehaven has a web of care cast over our state, providing case management and awareness education for thousands of young people. Their team faces an uphill battle on a small budget. The reality is horrifying, way more than going over the side of a building, so I made the decision to go face my own fears and do it.

Actually going over the literal edge of the building was the hardest part, but the amount of safety gear, and staff training we went through made it a little less frightening. Once suspended on the ropes and heading down it was fun. OK, I was petrified, and, not knowing any better, skittered down the side of the building ahead of everyone else. But I did it. We did it, and you can too!

COhatch wants to assemble a big team to participate this year. Spaces are limited to the first 100 people who raise at least $1,250. We will raise money individually and as Team COhatch. If the idea of rappelling 330 feet down is a solid “NO,” you can still participate by sponsoring our team. We will be holding a drawing to select one member to go down with the team. Stay tuned for details. The event is on 6/14 (614 Day!). More information is at www.gracehavenovertheedge.com