For the second year in a row, NorthMarq Capital’s Amanda Macikowski fearlessly stepped beyond the safety of the Kodak World Headquarters and rappelled down 21 stories. The gravity-defying event was part of Boy Scouts of America – Seneca Waterways Council’s 21 Stories for Scouts fundraiser on May 18 in Rochester, New York. This year, however, Rochester office Managing Director Sam Berns and Analyst Sean Lavin joined their colleague in the endeavor.
Having taken a role as committee member for the organization, Amanda was extremely active gathering donations and volunteers. This year’s event raised $168,904 which is the highest amount ever raised. In addition Amanda organized and found sponsors for the first annual Liquid Courage Party that was held at Bitter Honey to jump start the event the night before. NorthMarq Rochester’s office raised more than $5,000 for the cause. To participate, individuals must commit to raising $1,000. “The scariest part is the first step over the edge—then it’s a lot of fun,” explained Macikowski. “My team definitely thinks I’m crazy for doing it year after year, so it meant a lot to me to have Sean and Sam support me and a cause that is very close to my heart.”
When it came to the actual rappelling, Sam Berns expressed his gratitude for Amanda’s reassurance. “Amanda’s courageous spirit helped me challenge my fear of heights,” he said. “I was terrified the first few steps down the building, but I soon found comfort with all the redundant safety features. I only had one thought down my descent: Get down as soon as you can! NorthMarq is proud to support this great cause that provides after school and summer camp opportunities for urban youth in the Rochester area.”
According to the event’s webpage, because the event is run by Boy Scouts of America, donations go directly toward underwriting outreach programs for urban youth in the city of Rochester including over 40 after-school programs and summer camp experiences. The Seneca Waterways Council, Boy Scouts of America services nearly 11,000 young people each year with leadership and character development programs that positively impact and help prepare young people for life.
“Only one percent of youth in urban areas attend programs like Boy Scouts, which to me is extremely alarming,” said Macikowski. “Participating in this event allows for the Boy Scouts to educate parents on the benefits of after school programs, and camp to help send more students to the Scouts. Boy Scouts is now open to boys and girls and teaches leadership through life skills. Being a first generation scholar at St. John Fisher College and tutoring in urban after school programs, I have witnessed firsthand the importance of today’s youth to attend these programs.”