Nearly 100 people recently rappelled Kodak Tower as part of the annual 21 Stories for Scouts fundraising event for the local Boy Scout council.
The unique fundraising event of extreme proportions, hosted by Seneca Waterways Council, supports Scouting programs for low-income, at-risk youth in urban communities across a five-county area.
After eight years at the First Federal Building, the event moved this year to the Kodak World Headquarters building on State Street, giving 96 people an opportunity to rappel 240 feet down the iconic tower. Their fundraising efforts resulted in $179,499 to support over 1,240 youth in traditional Scouting programs throughout the city of Rochester, including 34 after-school programs. The council serves nearly 11,000 youth in 420 different program sites across Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties.
“The change in venue this year to the Kodak Tower brought about a lot of excitement. We are grateful to Kodak for their support,” said Stephen Hoitt, Scout executive/CEO for Seneca Waterways Council. “We chose this extreme rappelling event over typical spring/summer fundraisers because of its unique nature and connection with Scouting. In Scouting, we encourage youth to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zone and try something new so they can realize just how much they are capable of achieving if they just try. And this event does just that for its participants.”
Joe Aiello, who rappelled two years ago as the oldest rappeler in the event’s history, returned this year at the age of 91 to give his support to the Scouts. Aiello, who was a Scout for one year growing up, said Scouting had a lasting impact on him despite his brief time as a Cub Scout. He added that he is happy to do anything he can to help youth benefit from the experiences and opportunities made possible through Scouting.
Proceeds from the event help keep Scouting programs affordable to families regardless of socioeconomic background, ensuring all youth can fully participate in and benefit from Scouting’s values-based character and leadership development programs. Through fundraising efforts like 21 Stories for Scouts, the council provides financial aid to families in need to help with program-related items such as uniforms, handbooks and camperships, while providing the resources needed to deliver the Scouting program.
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