By Jill Fox
Their motto is, “You provide the courage. We’ll provide the rush.” And that’s exactly what happened when two Parkland teens spent their afternoon rappeling from a 425-foot building.
The unique experience was to raise money for Give the Kids the World Village; a nonprofit helping make dreams come true for children with critical illnesses and their families.
“Once I took that first step, it was awesome,” said Matt Rosenthal, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who spent the past year raising the $1,000 minimum donation with his good friend, Izzy Zahalsky.
A resident of Parkland Golf & Country Club, Rosenthal enjoys community service and giving back to local charities.
His parents and his younger brother, Daniel, watched him rappel down the 32-story Hyatt Regency Orlando on February 12, thanks to the organization Over The Edge.
“It was a perfect day for the event,” said Rosenthal, who explained how it happened to fall on the same date as Parkland’s “Day of Service and Love.”
Over The Edge provides an unforgettable experience to participants while making a positive impact for a selected nonprofit. In this case, the event benefited Give the Kids the World Village, a storybook resort in Central Florida providing cost-free vacations to children with critical illnesses and their families.
Rosenthal and Zahalsky, a Junior at North Broward Preparatory School, got involved with Give the Kids the World Village after her father, Dr. Mike Zahalsky, appeared on Survivor.
“After my dad went on Survivor, I was going to charity events with him and seeing these kids fulfill their dreams, and I wanted to get more involved in the organization,” said Izzy, who lives in Heron Bay with her younger brother and sister.
The two family friends raised over $4,500 combined through social media posts and said they would “definitely” choose to do it again.
“It was really fun — scary but amazing,” said Izzy.
Contributions can still be made to either of the students:
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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