A magical event put on by Magic Mike and the gang

Jun 27 • Bruce Uncorked, Feature StoryNo Comments on A magical event put on by Magic Mike and the gang

It’s almost time to change Mike Genge’s name to Magic Mike.

Genge, the executive director of the Foundation of the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent, had another successful fundraising idea come to fruition on the weekend.

I’m talking about the Over the Edge event at the Holiday Inn Express where about four-dozen people rappelled down the side of the 10-storey building, raising more than $92,000 for the foundation in the process.

The “Magic Mike” moniker might not be totally accurate, however, as the Foundation’s staff and board deserves a great deal of credit as well.

The treatment centre is in the process of raising cash to build a new and larger home. It currently serves one in nine kids in Chatham-Kent. That support need is expected to increase to one in five by next year.

The centre’s foundation has long held the Festival of Giving charitable event each April as a fundraiser for services at the treatment centre. It recently added the Festival of Golf to its list of events, where golfers pay $750 each to play a round of golf and stay fed and hydrated, win prizes and be very entertained.

When Genge mentioned the price tag to play golf, I thought he had lost his mind.

I was very, very wrong. The event is a hit, and raises tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Over the Edge, however, differs from the other fundraisers, in that it is a very family-focused event. There was a carnival-like atmosphere, with bouncy castles, food vendors and more set up in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express to go along with the rappelling event.

Families came and went all day long, checking out the thrill seekers who walked down the side of the hotel, and watching their own children as they played at the carnival.

Genge is the figurehead of the fundraising brigade at the treatment centre. He certainly believes in the term, “go big or go home.”

Nothing is ever small scale.

But then again, Genge said to me on the weekend that it’s just as much work putting together an event designed to raise $10,000 as it is for one to raise $90,000.

Kudos to Genge and the gang for putting on another fun event and for always thinking big.

To the edge, but not over

I had the opportunity on Saturday to get on the roof at the Holiday Inn Express to take photos. Genge asked if I wanted to go over and I politely declined (if “Hell no!” is polite).

But getting strapped into a safety harness and getting tethered to the rooftop was interesting. I’m not afraid of heights (Mary Beth is, however), so I was the guy to cover Saturday’s event.

The Over the Edge guys, such as site and safety supervisor Ron Green, were great to deal with, letting me get close for my photos without getting in their way. Volunteers, such as Ike Erickson – who had to put up with me getting in HIS say periodically – were a treat to deal with as well.

My hats off to the participants who let me take pictures of them at the moment they stepped over the side of a building. As calm as many looked, you could see the underlying fear/thrill in more than a few eyes.

I felt very safe up there. But I can only imagine what it would have been like had there been a stiff breeze or gusting winds.

The kid is all right

The past few weeks, with so much of Mary Beth’s and my focus being on the move of The Voice office to 71 Sass Rd., we had not been so quick to clean up around the house.

Enter the kid.

Brenna quietly took it upon herself to set the tone at home. She recently cleaned her room – and I’m talking about a thorough cleansing of clutter and closet space.

Teens are well known for leaving clothes lying about, and even some dirty dishes. Brenna typically had clothes scattered on her floor.

But as I type this, she’s kept things very clean in her room for more than a week.

And she took the cleanliness a giant step further. As she got out of school early due to exams starting last Thursday, Brenna cleaned up clutter in the living room, the bathroom and kitchen, complete with doing up leftover dishes from the previous night’s dinner.

To say we were pleasantly floored when we got home would be an understatement.

Brenna knew we were busy with the move and took it upon herself to raise her game at home to help.

Mary and I (OK, mostly Mary) took the opportunity to move some furniture on the weekend, and give the kitchen floor a good cleaning.

Suddenly we have our upstairs back to the way we like it again – well, except for the cat fur that seems to float by now and then.

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