In the Words of Chesapeake

Courage to Persevere

Courage to Persevere

February 14, 2019

For the second year in a row, Chesapeake Hospitality has supported Give Kids The World in its annual Over The Edge fundraiser.  This year, Steve Smith, Principal - Executive Vice President of Chesapeake participated in the thrilling event.  We've asked Steve to share his experience.

Describe the GKTW Over The Edge fundraiser.

This GKTW Fundraiser was different as it was not contributing to the Chesapeake Hospitality GKTW annual fundraising efforts, which last year raised $120,000, our best year ever. But rather, Over the Edge was my own fundraiser with just myself participating. Over the Edge was about Courage. Could I generate the courage to do something far outside my comfort zone, which might also be exhilarating. Certainly, my courage going over the edge pales in comparison to the courage that must be required by kids with life threatening illnesses. This perspective certainly helps raise a person’s courage. Turns out that my hopes were true and I did raise a substantial amount for the kids. Over the Edge became a promise that had to be fulfilled for my generous supporters. Following the rappel, I sent a photo which showed me 8 stories down from the 428 foot, 32 story Hyatt to most all my fundraising supporters with a simple note….. I am the guy on the right and THANKS!

What made you decide to participate in this fundraiser?

I’ve been blessed with many friends, family and co-workers who are “givers” and thought I might be able to raise a good amount for the village. Having an adventurous spirit, even with some fear of heights, I simply liked the challenge as well. With a lodging conference in Orlando that same week, I think it was obvious that this was something that I was predestined to do.

What was the most difficult part of this experience?

After I was harnessed in with the ropes and equipment, I was told to sit on the ledge and then put one leg around. When asked to put my second leg around, it really did not want to cooperate.

You’ve taken part in other GKTW athletic fundraisers, how did this compare?

The GKTW Golf event includes a round of golf and an awards event afterwards that takes 6 hours and the cycling for GKTW was about 5 hours. Over the Edge was 10 minutes preparing and harnessing and then 90 seconds down the building. This is one of those examples whereby the best does come in the smallest package.

Any take-aways from this experience?

Choosing to get outside your comfort zone is not the same as life choosing to put you there, which is what the kids at the Village have to face. I am proud that I was one of about 36 fundraisers/rappelers that helped the event raise almost $100,000.  I hope that our combined efforts provide the children with courage to persevere.