160 Rappel down Phoenix building to support Special Olympics

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Some Valley daredevils took their search for an adrenaline rush to new heights Saturday when they scaled down one of the tallest buildings in Phoenix for a good cause.

About 160 thrill-seekers, including 3TV's Jill Galus, accepted the challenge.

"The Law Enforcement Torch Run raises money for Special Olympics year-round, and we were looking for crazy ideas to help raise awareness and money," said Peoria Police Commander Douglas Steele.

That's when they came across Over The Edge, an organization that puts on rappelling events in cities across the country to raise millions of dollars for nonprofits.

Participants did not need prior experience; they only needed to raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations for Special Olympics Arizona.

"They get uniforms, sports equipment, locations, transportation, lodging -- all going to athletes so they can participate in Special Olympics sports," Steele said.

More than a physical challenge, participant Jake Galvan said rappelling down the 27-story CityScape building was a mental one.

"Once you get into that and they're telling you, 'Go ahead and take a seat and lean back,' you're like, 'Ah, I don't know that that's going to work,' " Galvan said.

Then, somehow, it does.

"When I was going down, the biggest thing I could think of was I was forgetting to breathe, you know, because you're so focused on keeping the rope, letting the slack out and making your way down, you forget to breathe," Galvan said. "It was a big sigh of relief when I hit the ground."