Rappelling down Kodak Tower: Boy Scouts to host annual 21 stories fundraising event

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – There is a little over a week until the Boy Scouts of America’s Annual 21 Stories for Scouts fundraising event. It’s an opportunity for people to rappel 240 feet down Rochester’s iconic Kodak Tower for charity.

This is the 14th year the scouts are hosting their 21 Stories for Scouts fundraising event and for one Boy Scout and his mom, they say this is always an exciting time of the year to give back to the community.

Julio Montilla-Sanchez has been a Boy Scout for 11 years.

“I think Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, I think they’re all just great opportunities for kids and youth to be able to get into something where people are able to teach them the right way.”

Not only that, but Montilla-Sanchez is also a varsity athlete on his way to college. He credits his leadership skills from his experiences in his troop. He said their annual 21 Stories fundraising event is one of many ways they’re able to step in and make a difference.

“I know actually a couple of troops and a couple of scouts that are in the Rochester area that don’t get the same opportunities that I do,” he said. “So getting to actually see that they get to have the same opportunities and fun and get the experience and have the same morals as I do, that’s just really inspiring to me.”

For scout executive director Stephen Hoitt, this fundraising event really exemplifies what they do in scouting. He said it all started when they partnered with a company in Nova Scotia and the rest was history.

“To watch some of the scouts who will go to summer camp and they’ve never been outside the city of Rochester before,” Hoitt said. “Or they come from families that would never have afforded to be able to have the opportunity for them to have that experience and to put them in a new environment, push their boundaries, experience new things, it’s a great experience to open kids’ eyes to another world in front of them.”

Hoitt said groups or individuals are challenged to raise $1,100 to rappel.

“We just really adore the program, and we’ve just kept with it, and over the course of time, we’ve raised over $1 million to help support kids in our inner city and it’s just been a great way to make both programs work,” he said.

As for Julio’s mom, she couldn’t be more proud of the young man her son has become.

Not to mention the way he steps in to help his community in more ways than one, citing the time he saved an elderly woman from a fire in their building after being trained during a cub scouts visit.

“I’m a beyond proud mother, you know, he is an amazing kid, very involved in the community, he was a senior patrol leader in his troop for about three years; awards again and again,” she said. “It’s just amazing to see a kid be able to use and live by the scout law and the scout oath.”

News 10 NBC’S Briana Collier will be rappelling.

There are still a few spots open to rappel.

Visit here to register.

Rappelling takes place Friday, May 12th from 9am to 4pm.