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Hiawatha Homes Bringing "Over the Edge" to Thursdays on First & 3rd

On Thursday, August 16, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) will host the 9th Thursdays on First & 3rd event of the season. Once again, 115 vendors fill the streets, but two of the 10x10 canopy tents will be on site for a different reason. Hiawatha Homes will be set up near the U.S. Bank building for its "Over the Edge" event. We recently sat down with Sarah Langenfield from Hiawatha Homes to talk more about their event Downtown.

Bill: Could you briefly describe Hiawatha Homes and what the organization does? 

Sarah: Hiawatha Homes supports people with disabilities in Olmsted County. We provide choices, promote independence, focus on individual abilities, and empower individuals of all abilities.

Bill: That's great! How does that translate to an event like Over the Edge? What made you decide to pursue it? 

Sarah: The Festival of Trees – A Celebration of Giving is such a community favorite, but we enjoy fundraising in the summer, too! This outside-the-box event allows us to further our mission in partnership with the community. What’s better than seeing community members overcome a fear of heights, fulfill an adrenaline need, or just try something new for those we support?

Bill: It's definitely going to get the adrenaline going--even for some people watching! Will those of us watching see any familiar faces? Is there anyone from Hiawatha Homes going "Over the Edge"?

Sarah: Absolutely! Scotty Matthews from 106.9 KROC is our first brave edger. Matt Nigbur, Foundation Board President, is our fearless leader leading us over the edge. Plus, Cindy Ostrowski, our CEO, is letting us “toss our boss”.  

Bill: What a fun idea! What made you decide to do it in conjunction with Thursdays on First & 3rd?

Sarah: Simply put, for an element of excitement! We hope that the spectacle on the side of the U.S. Bank will entertain guests at Thursdays on First & 3rd, and the brave edgers will enjoy a HUGE cheering crowd. 

Bill: Hopefully the crowd is out in full force. Aside from Thursdays, how does being Downtown benefit an event like Over the Edge? 

Sarah: Downtown Rochester is the heart of the city! So much happens Downtown that we couldn’t imagine this event anywhere else. 

Bill: We're glad you chose Downtown. I, myself, won't be going over the side of the building. How can people like me help if they don’t want to rappel 120 feet down the side of a building? 

Sarah: Donate, spectate, and volunteer! Donations can be made in support of edgers at Each dollar will help edgers get that much closer to the edge. Spectators can cheer on edgers from the “Chicken Coop” at Thursdays on First & 3rd from 11AM - 5PM. Volunteers can visit our website to sign up! 

Bill: What a fun name, the Chicken Coop! Is there anything else you want everyone to know?

Sarah: Our community is so generous, and we are grateful for the way Over the Edge for Hiawatha Homes has been embraced and anticipated. We’ll see you on August 16!