While staying at the Tiger Hotel, Rob Shorrock woke up to loud music on Saturday. He was surprised to see people using ropes to descend from the hotel.
“I have to do this,” he told himself.
Thirty-five people abseiled the Tiger Hotel in support of Love Columbia’s Over the Edge event on Saturday. Dressed in climbing gear, participants used a rope to descend the side of the building. Each had to raise $1,000 to abseil. Event sponsor Total Learning Concepts provided additional funds to help people participate. Proceeds benefit Love Columbia.
The event is a way to help community members in times of financial hardship, said Jane Williams, executive director of Love Columbia.
“We are going too far to prevent our neighbors from going too far in these difficult times of housing crisis and inflation.”
Love Columbia aims to help those who may be struggling with homelessness or other challenges. The organization served nearly 1,500 adults in the community in 2021, according to its website.
Seeing a chance to help, Shorrock decided to try rappelling himself. He said event donors quickly helped him raise the $1,000 needed to attend.
“It’s great to see the coolest adventure I’ve done in a very long time,” he said.
Shorrock, also known as “Boston Rob”, arrived in town Friday afternoon with his wife. A Boston native, and currently a detective with the Kansas City Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, this was his first time in Columbia.
Shorrock said helping others was important to him, and after participating in Over the Edge, he wanted to start a similar event in Kansas City.
“For me to give back and do the things that I do in my work and my personal life, trying to help the homeless, it’s just never-ending,” he said.
This year’s event was smaller than last year’s, which saw 92 encores or “edgers”. A crowd cheered as attendees clung to the hotel’s brick wall as a DJ played loud pop music.
Adonica Coleman, owner of digital media company COMO 411, hosts Over the Edge with her husband. She said the event raised around $97,000, not including additional donations from the community. She added that with the additional donations, Love Columbia would likely meet its goal of raising $100,000 from Over the Edge.