The sweeping view from the roof of the eight-story Hotel Julien in downtown Dubuque, Iowa, is inspiring. On a clear day—the kind Friday, September 4, was—the Mississippi River snakes from north to south as far as the eye can see. The stunning surroundings weren’t enough to keep people actually on the roof, though. Fifty of them went over the edge, rappelling down the side of the hotel as part of the United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States’ Over the Edge fundraiser.

As the Landing Zone sponsor of the event, Spahn & Rose donated $10,000, and two employees from the Dubuque Spahn & Rose location participated in the high-flying fundraiser, too. General Manager John Cook and Inside Sales Rep Mike Berning went over the side, rappelling down the Julien as about 150 spectators cheered.

Fortunately, Cook enjoys the thrill of heights. Before stepping off, he took a moment to enjoy the view. It took him only about a minute to zoom down to the sidewalk.


“I’d definitely do it again,” Cook says. “When you go over the edge, you’re controlling your own destiny, controlling the rappelling and descent. It was a very fun day. The volunteers were helpful and friendly, and everything ran right on schedule. It’s really rewarding knowing that so many people are involved in such a great cause.”

Each of the 50 participants collected $1,000 in donations, and several local sponsors in addition to Spahn & Rose also contributed. The money collected from the event—about $60,000 in all—will help about 40,000 people throughout the Tri-State area; all of it went to the United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States’ Community Impact Fund, which supports 35 local programs that promote health, education and financial stability for individuals and families.

“What really resonates with me is that the United Way contributes heavily to YMCA and affiliated organizations,” Cook says. “The big net United Way casts with its contributions to many organizations, from the YMCA to homeless shelters, is why I’m eager to help out.”

United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States has been serving the community for more than 90 years, providing funding and other resources to the area’s strongest nonprofit programs, making an impact on the health, finances and education of the area’s most vulnerable residents. Spahn & Rose’s Director of Marketing, Jacque Arensdorf, serves as a board member.