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Residents Encouraged To Go 'Over The Edge' To Help Released Inmates, Re-Entry Efforts


Are you ready to take the plunge and go “Over the Edge?” Local officials and community leaders are encouraging area residents to participate in a Tallahassee fundraising event to help highlight local re-entry efforts for released inmates.

Hooked up to a rope, imagine going over the edge and descending from the roof of one of the tallest buildings in Florida’s capital city all the way down.

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge, Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood, Tallahassee Commissioner Nancy Miller, and Mayor Andrew Gillum won’t just be imagining it.

They’ll actually be rappelling off the 16-story Doubletree by Hilton Hotel at the end of the month to raise money and awareness about helping people released from prison or jail successfully re-enter society.

And, those local officials aren’t the only ones taking part in the “Over The Edge Tallahassee” event. Florida State University Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher will be doing so as well.

“Winning championships requires dedication from every player on our team. So does the success and safety of our community,” said Fisher, in a promotional video. “The 2016 Over The Edge Tallahassee challenge is more than an exciting opportunity to rappel over 200 feet down the side of the Doubletree by Hilton in downtown Tallahassee. It’s a commitment to make our community a safer place to live, work, and raise families. Secure your spot on the rope today by registering for ‘Over The Edge Tallahassee.’ Join me as a partner in this urban adventure and help us make our communities safe. Register at OverTheEdgeTLH.com.”

This year’s “Over The Edge” event is the first. Dale White is the event’s organizer. He’s the founder and president of the Living Harvest, an organization dedicated to helping those incarcerated in the Big Bend area to recover and lead a productive life.

“The conversation that has to be had is that this is a community problem,” said White. “The 2,200 people are returning to our community this next year. There’s only six beds that are paid for post-release from the Department of Corrections. If we don’t provide the resources and the help when these folks are released, two thirds of them are going to go back to prison within three years. A lot of them are just looking for a second chance at life.”

And, White says he knows all about second chances—having had some himself.

“I had two DUIs by the time I was 18, and had been arrested for possession with the intent to distribute,” he added. “The short story is countless detoxes, five treatment centers, four DUIs, six and half years in prison—that’s when God met me and the Living Harvest is a result of that.”

White says even if you don’t want to rappel, you can fundraise for the event. Proceeds will not only go to his organization, but the Good Samaritan Network, the Big Bend AFTER Re-entry Coalition, and the Kearney Comprehensive Emergency Services Center as well.

Over The Edge Tallahassee takes place October 27t and 28 at 1 p.m. For more information, visit overtheedgetlh.com.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.