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Rappelling teacher urges support

Published 10:28pm Friday, March 8, 2013

Unfortunately for her, given what she’s planning to do in Norfolk next month, King’s Fork High Spanish teacher Stefanie Hicks is afraid of heights.

“I just try to avoid them,” Hicks said of elevated places. “It’s just that normal fluttering.”

Stefanie Hicks, a Spanish teacher at King’s Fork High School, plans to rappel down the side of a building next month to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “As the class coordinator, I feel I should do it” despite a fear of heights, she said.
Stefanie Hicks, a Spanish teacher at King’s Fork High School, plans to rappel down the side of a building next month to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

But fortunately for children with life-threatening illnesses, the educator’s desire to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation overrides her fear.

With some monetary support from the Suffolk community, on either April 12 or 13, a thin rope and some climbing gear will be the only thing between Hicks and a rapid descent onto concrete.

As long as she can raise at least $1,500 for the foundation, Hicks will rappel down the 200-foot-high Dominion Tower.

“I have done it once when I was 18, off a four-story building,” she said. “It’s safe, because I will have somebody down the bottom with a brake, in case I mess up.”

Thanks to the foundation, Hicks’ daughter Samantha, a junior at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach with Crohn’s disease, was able to visit family in Spain about four years ago.

“We went to Barcelona,” Hicks said. “She wanted to see where the ‘Cheetah Girls’ was filmed.

“We also went to Rota to see her godparents, and Madrid to see her father’s family.”

At the time, Hicks said, the chance for her daughter to choose her own wish was “a really exciting thing for her.”

As the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) coordinator for King’s Fork’s International Baccalaureate program, Hicks said it wouldn’t have been a good look to wimp out of her rappelling adventure. “They have to do leadership-type things,” she said of those in her role.

Hicks has told her students they can come and watch her dangle off the side of a building if they want, she said.

“The last time I looked, there were about 17 (others) that were jumping,” she said.

To pledge money toward Hicks’ adventure, visit www.overtheedgegva.com/Stefanie_Hicks or call Hicks on 923-5240.

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