Capel man Ben Aldridge faced down a 220m drop on Sunday as part of fundraising event, the Central Park Plunge, breaking the Australian record for greatest abseiling descent by a quadriplegic and “giving his own back to gravity” after his fall 11 years ago.
Running for four years now, the Plunge takes place on the Central Park building on St George’s Terrace and raises thousands of dollars for various WA charities.
Mr Aldridge’s charity of choice was Cahoots, which provides thousands of outings and programs for young people living with disabilities and raised $70,000 through the Plunge.
“I’m really pumped about this opportunity to support Cahoots and raise money to support hundreds of young people in Western Australia living with a disability and their families and carers who benefit from our support,” he said.
“And also, getting the chance to abseil off Central Park building is unreal, I mean, who does that?”
Not only did Mr Aldridge manage to raise funds for Kalgoorlie resident Lizzie Jones and her family, but he also successfully controlled his descent for 17 floors, marking a new Australian record.
“I did find it a bit ironic to be doing this after it was a fall that broke my neck.” he said, reflecting on his accident in Townsville over a decade ago.
“It’s a bit of a revenge on heights and gravity for sure.”
Along with the various abseilers raising money, Disabilities Minister Stephen Minister also took the Plunge, dressed as Spiderman.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to take the leap and participate in the Central Park Plunge this year to support Cahoots in their fundraising efforts,” he said.
Other fundraising efforts went towards charities like the Ronald McDonald House, the Fiona Wood Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Redkite.