It's been a few years since she's participated in Law Enforcement Torch Run events and Shannon Ladwig is ready for her comeback. An aficionado in extreme activities, including zip lining and helmet diving (walking on the ocean floor amongst schools of fish so thick you can barely see your hand in front of your face), Ladwig saw Over the Edge Madison as the perfect chance to raise money for one of her favorite organizations while also having a blast. Having a Special Olympics athlete in her family only makes the connection stronger.
Shannon, a Beloit resident, raised the required registration amount of $1,500 first amongst her fellow Madison Edgers, which is no easy task, especially considering her status as a first-time Edger. Determination and lots of help from her co-workers at the Office of Justice Assistance and fellow conservation club members have allowed Shannon to reach her benchmark goals again and again.
Shannon shared her tips for first-time fundraisers, noting that one of the most important and underrated pieces of advice she can give is to just ask. "Don't be afraid to ask people to donate. It doesn't matter what amount they give. I didn't not ask anybody!" she says. In addition to emailing her family and friends a link to her Over the Edge donation page, she also had a co-worker create a flyer for her with a catchy phrase that got peoples' attention ("Here's your chance to throw Shannon Over the Edge!") and hung them up virtually everywhere around her office. She then made it a point to follow up with everyone. "I went around my work and hit everyone up at their desk, asking if they'd seen the flyer or the email that went around," she says. Similarly, at one of her conservation club meeting, she announced that nobody could go out and trap shoot without first hearing her Over the Edge spiel. She took that spiel further than family and friends, even walking into local businesses and asking them to donate (she was surprised at how many did!).
It was tactics like this that led Shannon to her goal, along with having a timeline of smaller, benchmark goals that indicated her success along the way.
When asked what she'll be thinking when she walks to the edge of the Tenney Building on October 14, Shannon responds that it will be a combination of "I'm not gonna die," "I'm totally crazy," and "it's for a good cause!" In the mean time, all her contributors are giving her plenty to think about, such as the fact that she won't just be easing over the edge of the building – she'll be doing it backwards. How's that for a comeback?