On the morning of August 29th, 2015 the four dentists of Cornerstone Dental went “Over The Edge” in downtown Knoxville to benefit the non-profit agency The Restoration House of East Tennessee. This event took place at the 12-story Langley Building at 520 W. Summit Hill Drive (which was previously the Kimberly-Clark headquarters building). It was a beautiful day, and fun was had by all. Summer Street was closed to all traffic for the Block Party. Kids and adults alike enjoyed the rock climbing, inflatable bounce houses, music, food vendors, booths and the cheering enthusiasts.
The Restoration House founder Daniel Watson said he was initially intrigued by this specific opportunity because “We loved the name. We believe that single mothers go ‘over the edge’ for their children everyday. The grit and determination it takes to do that well is something you can’t really know unless you’ve been there. That being said we thought what better way to honor single moms than to go ‘over the edge’. It’s no cake walk for most people.”
And Dr. Jody Griffin couldn’t agree more. His enthusiastic support of “The Restoration House” was shared with his partners at Cornerstone Dental, and together they launched the “Toss Your Dentist” fundraising efforts. Dr. Griffin stated “Not only am I sympathetic to the fear that people have of dentists, but I am willing to conquer my own fear of heights and go “Over The Edge” in support of The Restoration House of East Tennessee. This particular program is near and dear to my heart because I grew up with a single mom and lived below the poverty line. I can relate. And, this is not just about writing a check, it’s about supporting this program that is very successful. Daniel and the team at The Restoration House walk along side these women and children and assist them by giving them a hand-up, not a hand-out.”
Dr. Michael Williams agreed. “The plight of a single mom has affected friends and family very close to me, and I am very passionate about this program. I am honored to be able to support The Restoration House of East Tennessee along with the rest of us through Cornerstone Dental Arts. I am sure that many people have dreamed of tossing their dentist off a building! This provided the opportunity for people to smile knowing that they were not only helping support this awesome nonprofit group, but they were also tossing this dentist off a very tall building!”
One of the unanticipated benefits of this particular fundraising event for Daniel Watson was “Hearing some of the stories of why folks were going ‘Over The Edge’. For many of the participants, this was a pinnacle point in their life, marking the dawn of a new season.” He also indicated that “My favorite moment of the day was seeing three of the moms and three of their allies go ‘Over The Edge’ together. I was so proud knowing that they raised their own funds to go and that they were so excited about sharing what is happening through The Restoration House with others. The quote of the day from one of them was ‘I’m going up this building one woman, but I’m coming down another.'”
Not only was “Over the Edge Knoxville” a ton of fun for everyone who participated, and those who were there cheering on their loved ones, but it was also a huge success! They were able to raise over $87,000 which will go to help support Phase II of The Village. In addition, it was a great event to help raise regional awareness of their program. They were featured on everything from Inside of Knoxville to WBIR.
Initially, the idea of rappelling down a 12 story building may have invoked some level of apprehension about safety, especially for beginners, or – the spouses of the rappellers. But, the Over the Edge professionals adhere to strict guidelines that have been established by top experts in the industry. A couple of our dentists had limited rappelling experience, but the others had none, and it was no problem. One who had never done anything like this was Dr. Joshua Kimrey, who said “That moment when you need to climb up onto the ledge, and then turn around backwards was definitely a rush. But, knowing that each rope could hold 7,000 to 8,000 pounds, and there were two, helped me to feel very safe. It was an amazing view of the city. I tried to take my time and look around, and really enjoy it. I don’t know that this is something that I ever would have done without this opportunity, but the chance to support this very good cause was something we just couldn’t pass up. I’m thrilled that I got to help out, and experience it, and I’m very appreciative of all the support from my family, friends and the Cornerstone patients who rallied behind our Cornerstone team and helped to make this possible.”
Dr. Ben Stroud: “I am honored to have been able to assist with the Over The Edge Knoxville fundraising for this well-structured and honorable program. The women in The Restoration House are not takers, but are workers who are devoted to improving their lives, devoting themselves to their kids and doing anything and everything in their power to rise above their circumstances. I have an enormous amount of respect for the women, and I am thrilled to have been a part of the Over The Edge Knoxville event. It was an exhilarating experience, and I loved every minute of it.”
— Mean Jean (@itsMeanJean) August 29, 2015
The Cornerstone Dental team member who was most afraid of heights is Dr. Jody Griffin, “It was crazy and intense! The first step was the hardest. I didn’t get over my fear, but I did it. It was a lot of fun, and I’m thrilled it was such a success for The Restoration House!” All of us at Cornerstone Dental Arts are!
A very big and sincere “Thank You” to everyone who was involved in this successful fundraising adventure. From the dentists, their families and the Cornerstone Team members who came out to cheer them on, to each and every person who donated and came by to help support this great cause. It was a ton of fun, and a fantastic way to be able to assist The Restoration House of East Tennessee, and enjoy a beautiful day in this awesome city of Knoxville that we call home!
If you missed this year’s event, and would like to be involved in next year’s Over The Edge Knoxville, you can get a jump start and click here to register for 2016.