Laurie McConnell Dares to Leap for Outward Bound





On April 16th 2015, 75 brave Outward Bound supporters will rappel 19 stories down the side of the Shaw Tower, the third tallest building in Vancouver including Laurie McConnell from



laurie mconnell outwardbound1
Laurie McConnell getting into the spirit to rappel 19 stories to raise money for Outward Bound.



Why are you jumping off a building on April 16th?

Because someone told me to, duh. Actually it’s the Dare to Leap fundraiser benefiting at-risk youth in BC through the Outward Bound organization.

Outward Bound provides life-changing experiences around the world for youth that create resilience, leadership, connections and compassion. Their philosophy is “There is more in you than you think”… and can I just say, there better be, otherwise I’m going to be a quaking puddle of fear who has to get pushed over the side for the challenge!


So where does it happen, and when?

Next week… crap! Next week??? I knew feeling dizzy wasn’t just from the flu. On April 16th at around 11:10am it’s my turn along with one other rappeller to climb over the side of the Shaw Building in downtown Vancouver at the 19th floor and make my way down to my petrified wife waiting below.

Google says the “Shaw Tower located at 1067 W. Cordova St in Downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour is home to Shaw Communications’ headquarters for Lower Mainland Operations and credited to local architect James K. M. Cheng.” All I know is that it’s #$@ing high.


Is there a local angle for the Sunshine Coast?

Well I was too late to sign up to get one of the two leaping spots benefiting Sunshine Coast youth specifically, but I’m hoping the increased visibility can help boost the fundraising efforts of Jenny Wild and Lindsay Cornell. Any dollars donated to their ‘leaps’ directly benefits Sunshine Coast youth. So please hop over to the Rappellers page after you read this and donate what you can – you can change a life with your small bit of cash.


Have you ever gone through Outward Bound?

Oh, I wish! I would have loved something like this in my teens. Correction: I would have HATED the idea of it, but I could have really benefited from it and saved myself probably 20 years of bad decisions and ineffective living. I’m also thinking it would have been a giant step up from ill-fated expeditions with the Guides of Canada’s Ranger program at the time (I will never camp at Cheakamus Lake again).


Are you too old for Outward Bound now?

Hah! Outward Bound also runs programs for adults from age 20 to… whatever. I heard their oldest participant in recent years was 88! Actually, I think a business leaders Outward Bound adventure for 5 days on the Sunshine Coast would be a wonderful thing to experience… or I’d end up hating everyone, you know, but worth a try. There’s something about personal discovery in a setting where everyone is rendered equal that is intriguing. I’m already compiling a list of my dream team.


Dream team?

Yeah, the people I most want to simultaneously have a soul-to-soul connection with and in front of whom I am willing to lose all my personal dignity. As you can imagine, it’s a short list!


What are other ways Sunshine Coasters can support sending local youth through the Outward Bound program?

First – donate to Laurie McConnell’s campaign at Dare to Leap. Second – mark your calendar for April 18th at the Roberts Creek Hall for the annual Neil Falkner Legacy Fundraising Event. This year James & Jamesy (you may have seen their hilarious act at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse last year) will be emceeing, and it will be an extravaganza of youth performance, from music to slam poetry, to spoken word, to dance. The Annual Silent Auction is happening NOW, so do login and check out the HUGE list of items, and remember all the money goes to changing a youth’s life for the better.


So, are you afraid of heights?

Well, I dunno. Every time I try and climb a ladder to look in the gutter from our nice big deck I can’t get higher than the 4th rung, just like I can’t flip my own kayak for a self-rescue. I don’t FEEL afraid, I just… can’t… go higher. Oh, and the world starts tipping and I get a little nauseated. Is that fear? I hope not. No one wants to be the eh-hole who puts the entire event into paralysis.


Laurie McConnell Dares to Leap for Outward Bound on April 16th around 11:10am. Be sure to support her by sending freak out messages to her page at


It’s Always a Good Day on the Sunshine Coast!

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