Blake Shroy works in Market Square Plaza in downtown Harrisburg. A few years ago, she watched as dozens of people rappelled from the 18-story building to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.
A single mom of three girls, it inspired Shroy to learn more about the organization, hoping it would be a good fit for her daughter, Marleigh.
“Marleigh … middle child syndrome,” Shroy said. “She sometimes feels left out.”
Shroy signed up and Marleigh was paired with a big sister; 22-year-old college student Erin Kulp.
“Marleigh had somebody that was hers,” Shroy said. “The first year, Erin was totally Marleigh’s.”
Marleigh said she enjoys hanging out with Erin, talking about school and fun things they do together.
“She just listens,” Marleigh said.
In just a short time, during trips to the park, mall or restaurants, Shroy says Erin became a part of their family.
“There needs to be more Erins in the world,” she said. “She comes to all of Marleigh’s sports events and school events. She’s just a good person.”
Erin fought back tears when talking about her special relationship with Marleigh.
“She’s changed my life just as much as I’ve changed hers,” Erin said.
This year, Shroy won’t be watching the Over the Edge event from her office. Instead, she and Erin will be among the participants, teaming up to honor their special bond and their love for Marleigh.
“I’m just kind of looking at it as our commitment to this program and our commitment to her,” Erin said. “We’ll both be there for her.”
For her part, Marleigh is excited to watch.
“I think it’s going to be so cool to watch,” she said.
ABC27’s Ali Lanyon will participate for the second year in a row, rappelling on Thursday, Oct. 17. To donate to the campaign, click here.