Press Club

County Board member among dozens set to rappel down a Crystal City hotel this week

Dozens of people, including a County Board member, are expected to rappel down the side of a tall building in Crystal City this week.

More than 70 volunteers associated with the non-profit New Hope Housing will be rappelling down the 14-story Hilton Crystal City at 2399 Richmond Highway on Thursday and Friday to raise funds and awareness for the organization.

That includes Arlington County Board member Matt de Ferranti, who is expected to rappel down on Thursday night at the VIP reception.

The public will be welcome to watch “14 Stories of New Hope” on Friday, though, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the “Landing Zone,” an all-day festival with food, music, and booths.

If you are feeling the urge to safely rappel down a 140-foot-tall building, there could be an opportunity.

“All are welcome to attend and there may be opportunities for people to walk up and rappel,” says a press release.

Those that are rappelling will be doing it safely with the help of “Over the Edge,” a company that helps non-profits with events of this nature.

This isn’t the first time the company has worked with a local organization for this type of event. Back in 2012, the Special Olympics of Virginia held a similar event when folks rappelled down the Hilton Crystal City to raise funds.

First established in 1977, New Hope Housing is a non-profit with a mission of ending of homelessness in Northern Virginia. It operates a number of facilities and shelters in the region, including a 44-bed shelter on Columbia Pike that it runs in partnership with the county and a facility in Bailey’s Crossroads. The organization also runs shelters in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County.

Those rappelling down the side of the hotel come from a variety of backgrounds, New Hope’s Director of Development Jan-Michael Sacharko tells ARLnow.

Some are newbies, some are ex-military, and at least one is a Hollywood producer. Greg Garcia, Northern Virginia native and the creator of television shows including “My Name is Earl,” is among the expected participants.

As of last week, the event has raised over $200,000 for New Hope Housing programs, according to Sacharko.

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