Dozens rappel down Benson Tower for NOLA Over the Edge


TODAY TO DO WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND ACTION MOVIE STARS DO ALL THE TIME. THINGS LIKE SWAT TRAINING AND RAPPELLING DOWN A 25 STORY BUILDING. BUT ORGANIZERS OF NOLA OVER THE EDGE SWAT EDITION SAY THIS WAS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST FUN AND GAMES — THE EVENT BENEFITED A GREAT LOCAL CAUSE. ALL NEW AT SIX, WDSU REPORTER KELSEY DAVIS WAS THERE AND HAS MORE. CASEY MINTON: at Special Olympics Louisiana, we provide sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities. But it really is so much more than that. AND SPECIAL OLYMPICS LOUISIANA DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING — CASEY MINTON — SAYS IT’S EVENTS LIKE OVER THE EDGE THAT HELP THEIR ORGANIZATION PROVIDE MORE THAN JUST ATHLETIC TRAINING FOR THEIR NEARLY 14 THOUSAND ATHLETES FROM ACROSS THE STATE. CASEY MINTON: we give our athletes almost a sense of purpose, in a way. We give them something to do, something to enjoy. They have friends. They have a social life. IN ORDER TO TAKE PART IN THIS EVENT, PARTICIPANTS HAD TO RAISE AT LEAST ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS — TO TAKE PART IN THE HELICOPTER RIDE AND SWAT TRAINING WITH KENNER POLICE AND JEFFERSON PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND TO BE ABLE TO RAPPEL 25 STORIES DOWN THE SIDE OF BENSON TOWER. BUT MINTON SAYS IT’S BEEN THEIR MOST SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISERS BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE GO ABOVE THAT MINIMUM — PEOPLE LIKE LSU POLICE OFFICER JAMES PITTMAN WHO RAISED FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS THIS YEAR. JAMES PITTMAN: When I started getting involved with Special Olympics, I got to actually interact with the athletes and it was a one-on-one thing. I could see the difference what I was doing was making. It set it apart and made me just want to do more and more. THIS WAS PITTMAN’S FIRST OVER THE EDGE. HE’S DONE OTHER EXTREME FUNDRAISER FOR THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS LIKE THE POLAR PLUNGE, BUT NOTHING THIS CRAZY. BUT WITH HIS WIFE AND KIDS STANDING BYE AND WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF A HIGHLY TRAINED OVER THE EDGE STAFF Have you ever done anything like this before? Absolutely not! Very good. A clean slate is the best slate to work with! PITTMAN — LIKE THE DOZENS OF OTHER PARTICIPANTS — PUT HIS NERVES ASIDE TO RAPPEL FOR A CAUSE HE LOVES. JAMES PITTMAN: It was great. It was awesome. I want to do it again! REPORTING ON YOUR SIDE, KELSEY DAVIS WDSU NEWS. IF YOU WERE UNABLE TO MAKE IT OUT TO RAPPEL OR STOP BY THE FESTIVITES TO MAKE A DONATION TO SPECIAL OLYMPICS LOUISIANA, IT’S NOT TOO LATE HELP. HEAD OVER TO OUR WEBSITE WDSU DOT COM WHERE YOU FIND LINKS TO WHERE YOU CAN DONATE AND PARTICIPATE IN FUTURE SPECIAL OLYMPICS EVENTS. AD LIB TO MEG OVER TOSS

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