Big Kenny Rappels Down 24-Story Building for Charity
Big Kenny certainly goes to great heights to help others.
In January, he spent several weeks in Haiti, helping with the rescue and recovery efforts in the earthquake ravaged country. Then he turned around in March to throw himself heart and song into an impassioned movement called Music Saves Mountains, to raise awareness about the devastation of mountaintop mining in the Appalachians. When the great flood devastated Nashville in May, he helped his neighbors dig out, street by street. Then, just last month, Big Kenny flew to Africa to spread more love by performing 'Heart of Africa,' an anthem he wrote in celebration of the continent that hosted its first-ever World Cup game. While there, the big-hearted singer helped serve meals to children to see for himself the work of the U.N. food program there.
This month, Big Kenny decided to throw himself -- quite literally -- down the side of a 24-story building, rappelling to help raise money for Special Olympics. Along with law enforcement and news reporters, Big Kenny slid down the side of the Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, as Special Olympics Utah hosted its second annual event called 'Over the Edge.'
Big Kenny, along with each participant, committed to raising $1,000 apiece for Special Olympics for the chance to go over the edge of the hotel from the rooftop in the name of the charity. Businesses who pledged at least $2,500 were given the chance to "toss their boss!"
Even though the Salt Lake City Police Department's SWAT team volunteered to be on hand as belayers for those going over the edge, there was quite understandably some nerves and apprehension.
"I wet my pants a little right there, at the beginning!" Big Kenny said with a laugh, when asked by KTVX-TV if he was nervous. And then immediately exulting over what he'd accomplished, crowed, "It was a blast and the view was fantastic! I highly recommend it to anyone!"
After going over the edge for charity, Big Kenny performed a concert later that evening to raise even more money for Special Olympics.
According to Salt Lake City's The Deseret News, last year's Over the Edge event raised over $35,000 for the charity, when 70 people went off the roof of the hotel. More than 40 states are now holding the Over the Edge event as a fundraiser for the Special Olympics