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Wednesday April 16th 2014

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Scouting the Edge


What could drive local community leaders over the edge? The Boy Scouts.
As part of the group’s Over the Edge fundraising event, area ‘celebrities’ and regular folk alike will have the opportunity to rappel down the side of the Hilton on Pensacola Beach.

“It’s that first step,” said Melanie Behrends, events manager for the Gulf Coast Council of Boy Scouts of America. “That leaning back—after that they’re just walking down the wall.”

After securing $1,000 in contributions or donations, participants will step into a harness and step off into the horizon. The view of the Gulf should be nice.

“It’s a big deal, 18-stories,” said Behrends. “It’s kind of out there.”

The general public is invited to participate on Nov. 19, while a list of ‘celebrities’ will take the plunge on Nov. 18, from 2 to 5 p.m.

So far—for the event’s first year—the Boy Scouts have enlisted some morning DJs from local radio stations and a TV news personality. Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan and Fish House-owner Collier Merrill have also signed on.

“I think the first year, the people that sign up that haven’t seen this done, those are pretty adventurous people,” Behrends said.

Prior to actually rappelling down the Hilton, participants will have an opportunity to practice on the hotel’s one-story parking facility. Behrends probably isn’t taking the tall walk.

“My services will be needed elsewhere that day,” she said. “I’m gonna be anywhere but the roof.”

Funds raised during the event will go to support economically-disadvantaged boys who would like to join the Boy Scouts. For more information, call 449-0234.