NORMAL – For former Bloomington resident Sally Brumfield, leaving the comfort of her Fort Myers, Fla. home to return to Normal for the annual “Over The Edge” fundraiser at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel Saturday meant two things: First, she had raised enough money to help its benefactor, McLean County Boys & Girls Club, to help meet its annual goal; and second, it meant leaving the comfort of her Florida home to face a fear: To rappel down the side of a building, something top money donors got the chance to do at this event Saturday while others donors and passing onlookers watched.

Brumfield wasn’t doing it along, as she was joined by her daughter, Dani Lamb, and had friends looking on from the ground encouraging her in her effort. She was all set to do this when it was scheduled last spring, she said, but COVID-19 forced the event’s cancellation. She moved to Florida in December from Bloomington but said she made sure to come back to fulfill this one-of-a-kind obligation. Dani Lamb serves as a Board member for local Child Protection Network, which identifies its primary mission as providing financial resources to local agencies that support the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Sally and her teammates, including her daughter, Dani Lamb, and Brianna Turcotte, raised a total of $3,000 for the charity.

This event, in its second year, raised over $75,000 meeting its goal for the year, explained Kimberly Wright, Development Director for Boys & Girls Club of McLean County.

Brumfield said besides being able to contribute money to the cause to do this was because “I have a fear of heights and I’ve been trying to challenge myself the last few years and I have been trying to walk through my fears, and I thought this would be a great way to walk through my fears.”

Brumfield admitted while being pleased she accomplished this feat with Dani rappelling down alongside her, there were two relatives who she said weren’t keen to the idea: Her husband, Mark, and her sister-in-law. In fact, Brumfield said, her husband was convinced she wouldn’t go through with rappelling of the 10-story structure because of her fear of heights. She added when the event came up that “I am so passionate about the children in our community I thought, ‘what a great way to show how much I care.’ It was also a great way to show how to be involved in the community.”

Brumfield said her experience proves if one sets one’s mind to it, anybody can walk through any fear.

Airline pilots who frequently fly to Central Illinois Regional Airport stay at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott and don’t encounter this sort of activity, but pilots Dylan Wolff and William Roop, employed by Endeavor Air, owned by Delta Airlines, had varying reactions to seeing what was going on at their lodging. “I thought they were a little nuts,” Roop joked seeing what was going on. “It looked like fun,” Wolff added.

On the day before the formal charity event, Friday, June 11, two locals who are familiar to the event served as celebrities for it and were the first to repel down the north side of the building: Bloomington Psychologist Dr. Cheri L. Miller Psy.D., and Mark Welp, news anchor for Peoria’s WMBD-TV. Dr. Miller even wore a costume, dressing as the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

And this wasn’t Dr. Miller’s debut at this. In her 20s, she said, she did this when she lived in Connecticut, and when this event was held here in 2019, she donned a Wonder Woman costume and went down the side of the Marriott. She said friends and relatives knew of her dedication for Child Protection Network and supported her in her venture this time, too.

Dr. Miller said, “Child Protection Network oversees investigation of child abuse and Boys And Girls Club works to empower kids who are at risk and have many obstacles in life.” She explained those programs help reduce barriers and obstacles in those children’s lives.

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