Local celebrity goes over the edge of a building

Tiffany Cobb, Staff Writer

Forty people dropped over the Bank of America building on October 4 but all for a good cause.

Out of these 40, one was Delvin Choice an Upstate native and a top five finalist on The Voice. Choice and the other volunteers were rappelling as part of the nationwide Over the Edge for a Brighter Tomorrow charity benefit. Participants were to pick a charity or organization, collect donations, and rappel 15 stories – about 228 feet – down the front of the Bank of America building.

Another one taking the plunge was Rick Sumerel, a supporter of the Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network and on the board for Goodwill Industries of the Upstate. He said he chose to rappel to raise awareness and to also be an encouragement to those in his community who may be struggling.

“I’m an old guy," he said.  "If I can do this, why not? At my age, anything I can do prove anything is possible, I’ll do it.” Sumerel had a large and loud group of supporters with him during his rappel. Deometry Dawkins said, “I wouldn’t do it, but to see him do this without hesitation, it is certainly inspiring.”

Whistle 100 acted as both sponsor and MC provider for the two-day event. Aaron Michael, Saturday’s MC, said, “ This is a great events that grabs your attention. Marathons and selling things are also great fundraisers, but who else can say they dropped over the side of a building for charity?” Over 25 Greenville area charities benefitted from the Over the Edge event in both financial donations and bringing awareness to the cause.

Debbie Wallace, chairman of the event, said she wanted to bring a signature event to the Greenville area and researched for months to find the perfect one. When Over the Edge approached her the idea, she said she was hesitant, but after researching the organization and the safety precautions they presented, she was hopeful.

“This is our first time doing anything this grand and I admit, I was nervous to see if anyone would be willing," she said.  "This turned out to be a lot bigger than we expected and we definitely plan on making it a tradition.”

Although there were over 40 participants,  Choice was the crowd favorite due to his status as a local celebrity. Paycie and Laila Harvey, both 6, could hardly sit still as they waited for Choice to appear. Both said they would be wiling to rappel with their mother’s consent, which she quickly denied, and said, “We love Delvin because of The Voice and we think it’s really great that he is doing this to give money to charity.”

Choice’s family was all there to support him through cheers and song as he rappelled. His father sang almost the entire descent as a sure way Choice would hear his support and know his father was there.

He said, “His mom signed him up for this because she is more of the risk taker. I would do it with him – anything to help the cause. I always remind Delvin of the Golden Rule ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. You never know when you might need help so when you are able, you should do all you can to help.”

 

 

 The Bank of America is 228 feet tall and did not block the aggressive wind during the rappel. 

The Bank of America is 228 feet tall and did not block the aggressive wind during the rappel. 

 Extra safety precautions were taken to protect citizens as they rappelled. 

Extra safety precautions were taken to protect citizens as they rappelled. 

 Delvin Choice greets his parents after his rappel. 

Delvin Choice greets his parents after his rappel. 

 Delvin opted to take a selfie rather than a posed portrait. He said, "This is much more fun, right?"

Delvin opted to take a selfie rather than a posed portrait. He said, "This is much more fun, right?"