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Feeling Edgy

A fear of falling is as old as time, one of two fears hardwired into the human species. But 46 intrepid souls have pledged to put this instinct for survival aside and to Go Over the Edge for three good causes.

The adventurers have signed up to rappel 111 feet down Torrington Towers on September 16th in support of the three partnering non-profits—Prime Time House, the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council and the Northwest Connecticut Chamber Education Foundation.

Since 2008, Over the Edge Global has helped non-profits raise more than $45 million and put 25,000 fundraisers safely ‘over the edge’. Each of the “Edgers” are attempting raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations to their individual pages on the Over the Edge NWCT website.

“Over the Edge is certainly different than the usual area-wide fundraisers such as golf tournaments, wine tastings, auctions, and spaghetti dinners,” said Amy Wynn, executive director of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council. “These funds are going to make a huge difference to the Council, especially in the face of looming cuts to public funding for us and for our constituents.”

Lisa Crofts of Lakeville is going beyond her own fear to help Prime Time House, an agency she has been involved with for more than 20 years. She is currently manager of Prime Finds in Lakeville, an upscale antiques/used furniture store that raises funds for Prime Time. Prime Time helps those in the region afflicted with mental illness.

“Rappelling off the Torrington towers come September 16th has me absolutely terrified,” she said. “I am utterly afraid beyond belief because this is something I have never done before!” Still, she has found many willing to pledge toward her cause. “The pledging has actually been quite fun,” she reported.

Devin Boyden from Falls Village has already surpassed her goal and is still collecting donations. “I decided to go over the edge for a couple of reasons,” she said.” I’m very involved with our local children’s theater and our community in general. The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council has been very supportive of our local theater and I always try to look for ways that I can help as well. When I first heard about Over The Edge, I said, ‘I would never do that. I’m terrified of heights!’ But… with all the cuts to arts (and quite possibly education) programs, I really felt compelled to do something.

“I think people are inspired by someone who is willing to take a risk to help others,” she continued. “My friends and family know how scared I am even though I know it is perfectly safe. They want to support me and my causes because we all have the same values. The future of the arts is really important to us and should be to the entire world.”

Mary Gryniuk from Torrington said she began life “on the edge,” lying in a crib in a Lithuanian orphanage. “My safety harness came in the form of my mom, Francine Gryniuk, who lovingly adopted me, and brought me home to Torrington, to share a life with her and my sister Bessie,” she said. “As demonstrated by my mother from an early age, I learned that it is important to give back. … I welcome you to join me in giving back. Together, we can make a difference!”

The event is sponsored by Sharon Hospital, PAC Group LLC, O&G, with additional support from Crystal Rock Water, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Litchfield Distillery, Republican-American, FM 97.3 WZBG, and CT Art Services. It is also made possible through the support of the Torrington Housing Authority.