John is Jumping Off a Building for Shatterproof and You Can Help!
The other day I received an e-mail from Tyler Barnes, Brewers vice president – communications. Tyler and I exchange countless e-mails each day. In the nine years that I have worked for him, this one will always stick out.
“Hi, John. Do you have any interest in jumping off a building?” it read.
I was a bit startled, but kept my composure and read on. I learned that I wouldn’t technically be jumping off a building, rather I would be rappelling. That made me a little more comfortable. Add that it will benefit charity and I was in.
With a high-risk operation like rappelling down an 18-story building in downtown Milwaukee, it is clear that Tyler probably reached pretty far down the staff totem pole before getting to me (or maybe not, who knows!). After reading more into the cause, I was happy to get the call and happy to promote the event.
The cause we will be supporting: looking to end the stigma and suffering of those affected by diseases of addiction. On Tuesday, Brewers Community Foundation will partner with Shatterproof to celebrate “Shatterproof Day” at Miller Park. Shatterproof addresses the issues of addiction and provides families with much needed support. In addition, they work to promote addiction related research.
As a part of the daylong celebration, Shatterproof will host the “Shatterproof Challenge” in downtown Milwaukee where about 80 people will join me to rappel down the side of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Sophia Minnaert of FOX Sports Wisconsin will be there rappelling as well. Brewers outfielder Logan Schafer is also scheduled to appear at the event. For some odd reason, Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin wouldn’t allow Schafer to rappel (definitely for the best)!
The height of the hotel is about 230 feet tall, a far cry from my only wall climbing/rappelling experience that came as an 11-year old kid at YMCA Camp Minikani (Camp friends: what was the height of that wall? 30 feet? Regardless, it seemed like 230 feet at the time.). This will be a challenge, but a far-cry from the challenges facing the beneficiaries of Shatterproof.
The cause here is what is important. Addiction to alcohol and drugs is the third largest killer in the United States behind cancer and heart disease. This disease impacts over 25 million Americans and 135,000 lives are lost to this each year. Shatterproof is in its infancy as an organization and I am happy to help them get the word out about a disease that our society is often afraid to face. Getting the cause out to the public in a way like this is long overdue.
Beyond what takes place in downtown Milwaukee on Tuesday, Shatterproof will be well represented at Miller Park later that night. A Shatterproof table will be set up on the Field Level concourse distributing literature and Shatterproof President Gary Mendall will toss the ceremonial first pitch.
Mendall founded Shatterproof after the death of his son, Brian, who suffered from the disease of addiction and took his own life in 2011. With a personal gift of $5 million, and a goal of transforming the way addiction is prevented and treated, Shatterproof was born.
How can you help? There are a number of ways. I have set up a personal fundraising page where you can give to the cause and show your support. Thanks for whatever donation you can offer! Or, you can join me on Tuesday by rappelling yourself. There is still time to register and raise the funds needed to rappel down the side of one of Milwaukee’s most iconic buildings.
For more information on Shatterproof and their resources they offer, visit shatterproof.org.
Stay tuned to the blog as I will have pictures and video from my “jump” on Tuesday!