People jumped Over the Edge of Bicentennial Tower for a good cause

Local News

It was a day filled with excitement as people jumped Over the Edge of the Bicentennial Tower to help raise money for a good cause.

45 people dropped down more than 130 feet from the top of the Bicentennial Tower to raise money for two causes that helps adults and children struggling with mental illness or challenges.

People repelling from the top of the Bicentennial Tower is not something you see everyday, but on Friday, it was all about jumping over the edge of the tower.

The Over the Edge fundraiser helps the Achievement Center and UPMC Safe Harbor Behavioral Health.

“Halfway down, I started feeling the groove, got stuck once, so I put my hands out, but made it down in one piece. So I’m happy about that,” said Jermey Berquist, Safe Harbor Patient.

Jeremy Berquist, a former college professor, struggles with a serious mental illness and receives therapy from Safe Harbor. Berquist said Safe Harbor has helped him in so many ways, and that repelling down the Bicentennial Tower can help give back to them.

“I wouldn’t have been here if it weren’t for the people that have supported me. It’s been really terrific,” said Berquist.

The over the edge event raised at least $38,000 from online participants for both organizations. A staff member from the center said jumping over the edge serves as a great metaphor for life.

“Everyday, folks are facing their fears, overcoming an obstacle, connecting with something head on. And I think this event really mirrors that. People going out of their comfort zone, braving the tower. So it’s a really nice mirror of the services provided in the community,” said Shannon Collins, Chief Advancement Officer, Achievement Center.

Meanwhile, Berquist said while he’d rather stay on the ground, he would recommend going over the edge, especially when it’s for a good cause.

Sponsors for Over the Edge also donated $10,000 to the organizations.

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