STATE COLLEGE, Pa (WTAJ)– Thursday, brave souls rappelled down over the edge of the Fraser Centre, the tallest building (12 stories high) in Downtown State College.
Those completing the daring act did so to raise money for two local Christian nonprofits: Faith Center of Bellefonte, and Interfaith Human Services in State College.
Some rappellers were nervous, others were excited… but one inspirational couple took the challenge to heart, not letting anything hold them back.
Bill and Joanna Shuey, a deaf, married couple from Pennsylvania Furnace, have known each other for about 50 years… but what they embarked to do Thursday was a totally new task for both of them.
“This is our first time repelling and we’re very excited,” Joanna signed to Amy Lawrence, the couple’s interpreter on Thursday who communicated verbally to WTAJ. Both Bill and Joanna had no doubts about going over the edge.
“I was just really inspired for this challenge. I was curious, and it gave me goosebumps to think about going over the edge,” Bill said. “For us, it’s just a good challenge we wanted to take,” Joanna added.
A challenge that for some might be scary to face, especially after looking 12 stories down to the pavement below.
But, that didn’t impact the Shuey’s. With the help of Lawrence, they didn’t miss a beat in learning how to rappel.
Together, the couple raised more than $2,500 from sponsors, all of it going to what they deemed as a good cause.
However, it wasn’t just the cause that inspired them to rappel, they wanted to prove they could attain a goal they set out to conquer… while sending a message to others.
“If there’s any deaf person who wants to try it… go for it. We’ve met this challenge, we’re deaf and we did it. So go for it…. don’t be afraid,” Joanna said.
The couple had each other’s back every inch of the way down. “If I see he’s stuck, I can coach him…” Joanna said. “I’ll be there for you too,” her husband added.
When their names were called, they rappelled together side-by-side, proving that no language barrier, or in this case height, can stop them from achieving their goals.
WTAJ later learned that a 99-year-old man, and a legally blind person also went over the edge on Thursday.