Seneca Waterways Council Boy Scouts of America recently announced that its eighth annual 21 Stories for Scouts rappelling event will return May 19 to downtown Rochester.
Participants will rappel down 309 feet — 21 stories — from the roof of First Federal Plaza. This fundraising event is open to community members ages 14 and older.
“Registrations have already begun and nearly half the available spots are filled,” said Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn, who has rappelled twice and is chairing this year’s event. “The goal for this year’s event is to raise $88,000.”
Stephen Hoitt, Seneca Waterways Council Scout executive and CEO, said that eight years ago the council looked to break away from the traditional fundraisers and host one that more closely identified with Scouting. Rappelling was a great fit as it is something Scouts do at camp, but it was more about the impact of the experience on the individual.
“It challenges you to push beyond your boundaries to accomplish something you didn’t think you could,” Hoitt said. “When an 11‐year-old Scout is standing at the top of a 30‐foot climbing wall at camp, he feels anxious and doubts his abilities. But by challenging himself, and with encouragement, he gains self‐confidence in realizing that nothing is out of his reach if he just tries. It’s no different for an adult preparing to rappel 309 feet. There is trepidation yet exhilaration at the accomplishment of overcoming barriers that may hold you back from being successful.”
Scouting provides opportunities for personal growth, character development and leadership training for nearly 10,600 youth in over 450 Scouting programs across Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties. Urban Scouting programs serving nearly 1,233 youth in the city of Rochester, including 36 after school programs.
Proceeds from the event support the council’s ability to keep Scouting available and affordable to all families regardless of economic or social background. Through fundraising support, the council granted over $35,000 in financial aid last year, enabling over 640 boys to attend camp who might not otherwise have been able to afford it.
“Rochester Gas & Electric is excited to take part of the 21 Stories for Scouts program,” said Carl Taylor, vice president of customer service. “Our company is dedicated to supporting agencies that provide essential services for youth throughout the Greater Rochester area.”
Event organizers said there are many ways to participate and make a difference in a Scout’s life, such as being a rappeller, sponsoring a rappeller, rappelling as a company team or making a donation.
Companies are encouraged to participate with employee teams of five or more rappellers and use the event as a team building opportunity. The team goes through training together and will share a common experience through their rappel.
Registration is required. All participants must raise $1,000 in either a single contribution or collected pledges. Parent/child teams must collect $1,500 to rappel together. A corporate team with five rappellers can participate for $4,000.
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