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Pheasant Run Resort PRESSROOM

Jun 04

A Chance to Rappel 16 Stories Down Pheasant Run Resort Raises Money for Girl Scouts

The Courier News

By Mike Danahey

ST CHARLES, IL | JUNE 4, 2018:  Judy Dunne's decision to rappel down the side of the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles seemed a fitting way to support a group that instills strength and self-assurance in young girls, she said.

"The Girl Scout mission is to build confidence, courage and character, and this was inline with that message," Dunne said.

The Elgin woman was one of 57 people to take part in the fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. The event netted about $10,000 and was such a success that they're already planning to do it again next year, CEO Fiona Cummings said.

"The proceeds will cover 1,700 memberships for girls in our outreach programs and others needing financial support to become members, buy uniform pieces, attend our programs and go to camp," Cummings said.

Dunne described journeying down the side of the building as a flawless experience. "The company running it did an amazing job. It was fun," Dunne said.

Dunne, who serves on the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois board, said the organization worked with Over the Edge, a Nova Scotia-based organization that assists nonprofits on what it calls a "unique adventure experience." It was Dunne's second rappelling experience; the first was down a 5-story building during a 2017 vacation to Mexico.

It was a little tougher going for Cummings.

"This was super scary, way scarier than I thought it was going to be. I hate heights, roller coasters, even swings," she said. "And I have to let you know that when I first stood on that ledge 16 stories up and, with great fear, let go of the built structure and leaned back a bit, I was nearly in tears."

She actually climbed back up over the ledge and was set to give up, she said, but the Over the Edge staff, Girl Scout of Northern Illinois board First Vice President Bobbie Riley and Sapreet Kaur Saluja, chief development officer for Girl Scouts of the USA, were able to talk her into doing it.

"Without that sisterhood, I could not have done this," Cummings said.

Among the other rappellers Saturday were Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns, members of the Kane County and Elgin SWAT teams and employees of the Kane County Sheriff's Office.

"Elgin's SWAT team carried down the US flag and the (Girl Scout) flag as first rappellers before a Girl Scout led us all in the Pledge and Girl Scout Promise," Cummings said.

Pheasant Run General Manager France Langan also turn at going down the building, she said.

"We approached several tall building owners along the Fox Valley, which is where we wanted to hold the location, and Pheasant Run Resort stepped up straight away." Cummings said. "They saw the potential for both of us. They offered us the opportunity to rappel (off their building) for free."

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois spent about a year putting all the logistics into place for the event, she said.

"It culminated in a splendid day," Cummings said. "Everyone was awed, amazed, excited, nervous, grateful and experienced a day they will never forget. Now we build on this momentum for future years."

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