Special Olympics athlete exhibits extraordinary strength going 'Over the Edge'

posted Mon, May 18, 2015 by Jon Buzby

Chris Truono, a Special Olympics athlete from Wilmington, was one of 85 people to go 'Over the Edge.' The event raised $125,000.

Truono was the fourth member of his family, and second SODE athlete, to go 'Over the Edge.'

Truono is all smiles after his rappel. He raised $3,600, helping bring the five-year total raised to nearly $600,000.

By Lindsay Dworetz

Every single day, Special Olympics athletes face a number of obstacles that are hard to even imagine.

Every single day, these athletes model remarkable strength and audacity to overcome these challenges that life puts forth.

Every single day, these athletes inspire their friends, family and members of the community to uncover the strength and courage that they do day in and day out.

A total of 86 brave supporters of Special Olympics Delaware, accompanied by family, friends and colleagues, gathered at the 300 Delaware Avenue Building in Wilmington on May 14 for the fifth annual Over the Edge fundraising event. The event, sponsored by TD Bank, Brandywine Realty Trust and New Castle County Fire Service, allows “edgers” to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Delaware and send themselves or their friends rappelling over the edge of a 17-story building.

Over the Edge is a special events company that provides nonprofits with the unique opportunity to send participants rappelling down the front of a building. It is a worldwide effort to take fundraising to new heights in exchange for a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This year, one of these heroic edgers was one of Special Olympics’ very own, Chris Truono.

“I am very excited!” Chris, 33, said while getting suited up in his harness.

Chris’ mother, father and brother all rappelled in previous Over the Edge events. This year, as the fourth family member to go over, Chris bravely recognized this opportunity to follow in his family’s footsteps and give back to Special Olympics, which he has been involved with for the past 18 years.

“Chris always said he would never [participate in Over the Edge] because he was too afraid,” Nancy Truono, Chris’ mother and 2014 Edger, explained. “After he saw his family do it last year, he decided that it was his turn and I could not be more proud of him.”

Each participant is required to raise a minimum of $1,100 to be given the opportunity to rappel. Eager and enthusiastic for this year’s event, Chris was able to inspire many others to support his rappel, raising an extraordinary total of $3,600 for Special Olympics Delaware. The 2015 event raised $125,000, bringing the five-year total to nearly $600,000.

Chris hopes that by participating in Over the Edge, he can inspire other Special Olympics athletes to participate in years to come.

“I would tell them that if they are nervous or scared, they should remember why they are doing it and it will help them feel better,” he said.

Over the Edge is just one of the many fundraisers that Special Olympics offers throughout the year. This event helps show athletes and supporters that there is no challenge too tall to overcome.

“Special Olympics has made Chris into who he is today,” Nancy added. “He is truly a better person because of Special Olympics and I am so proud of him.”

For Chris, this was an experience he will never forget.

“I had so much fun and it was more scary and more exciting than I thought,” Chris commented. “I definitely want to do it again next year.”

For more information and to view the event photo gallery and the recorded live stream, visit www.sode.org.

Lindsay Dworetz is an intern for Special Olympics Delaware.