Either way you look at it, 34 stories is pretty high up. It’s especially high up when you choose to descend by rappelling down the outside of the building. That’s what Wilton Police Officer Diane MacLean thought as she made her way down the side of the 34-story Mohegan Sun Resort Tower this past weekend, all in the name of charity.
MacLean took the leap off the side of the building to raise money for Special Olympics as part of the annual “Over the Edge” fundraiser. Last Friday, Sept. 7, she rappelled down the building alongside Seymour, CT Police Chief Paul Satkowski in an effort that helped raise over $100,000 for the organization.
Law enforcement partners with Special Olympics several times a year to raise money for the athletes that take part in the program, and each year the Wilton Police Department holds many fundraising events, including Tip-a-Cop and theLaw Enforcement Torch Run.
MacLean has participated in several events during her career. In addition to taking part in Tip-a-Cop and the Torch Run, she has rappelled for Over the Edge Special Olympics three times before this year.
“I’m not scared at this point, butterflies are more like it. The first step is always the hardest and then it’s easier. It is exhausting because it takes about 20 minutes to make it down the building,” MacLean explains. All the same, she laughs when she says, “I always look straight ahead because you can enjoy the reflection of the view without looking down!”
There’s something very impactful about supporting Special Olympics, MacLean adds, which is what keeps her motivated to go over the edge every year.
“A lot of the events that involve the Olympians also include on the spot eye exams and other medical check ups at the event. It’s kind of like one stop shopping… the athletes compete in a tournament then stop at the health tent for different screenings,” she says, adding, “Unlike other fundraisers, you can see what your donations mean to the recipients.”
The CT Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics posted a video on Facebook of MacLean’s building descent, and MacLean shared several photos that were posted to the social media platform.