MIAMI — Community is important to Mike and Christina Pappas, the father-daughter Realtor® duo with The Keyes Company in Miami. Along with a few Keyes employees, they went to extraordinary lengths to raise money and awareness for the Miami Youth for Christ charity initiative to help stop youth violence.
What did they do? The Keyes Company served as a building sponsor of the 2017 charitable event, called Miami Over the Edge, which took place Feb. 24-25, 2017. The event involved participants rappelling down the company’s 10-story Miami headquarters and generating donations from pledges in advance of their rappel.
Mike and Christina Pappas rappelled down the firm’s Miami building in tandem, working together to raise money for the charity. Other participants included Miami-Dade County Police Director Juan Perez and former Florida Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher, who is also the founder of Keyes affiliate Tom Gallagher Insurance. A total of $71,905 was raised to benefit the Miami Youth for Christ programs.
Why did you and your dad decide to do this?
MP: The Keyes Company has a 91-year history of giving back to our community. We believe we need to be good stewards of God’s gifts and Youth for Christ was looking for a building to utilize for this event.
CP: As Realtors, we are the heart of the community and it’s important to give back. It was a great opportunity for us to give back and go outside our comfort zone for an incredible cause.
What was it like, actually rappelling down the side of a 10-story building – your own headquarters?
MP: The first step is a doozy! I am scared of heights – so this was a personal growth moment – of overcoming my fear. Having my daughter next to me, lots of people watching – gave me no alternative but to step off!
CP: Intense! They tell you to keep backing up until you ‘go over the edge’ and that is the scariest part, by far! The building also reflects, so I could see everything without even looking down. It was quite intimidating, but thrilling as well. With my father next to me, it was pretty cool and surreal.
Were you scared? Excited? How did it feel, rappelling in tandem with your dad?
CP: Extremely thrilling, I was worried about my dad, he wasn’t talking – and if you know him, that’s scary!. He hates heights, always yelled at us to SIT DOWN on the Ferris wheel. Really amazing though to have him there; it was the push I needed to go over the edge.
Have you ever done anything like this before?
MP: Never – wouldn’t even go on the Ferris wheel when the kids were little!
CP: In Africa, I ziplined over the Victoria Falls in tandem with my sister and that was pretty exciting.
And has climbing mountains (or buildings) and rappelling down them now become a new hobby of yours?
MP: Once is enough!
CP: I think I’ll stay on the ground for now.
Anything else you’d like to add?
CP: I think anytime you push yourself outside your comfort zone you grow and learn something new about yourself. This experience definitely did that, and I would encourage everyone to consider pushing past their comfort zone (maybe not in as extreme a way as this) but in any situation so that you can continue to grow and realize your many strengths.
The annual Miami Over the Edge event helps curb the rising tide of youth violence by generating crucial funds to help nearly 8,000 young people participate in the highly effective programs of Miami Youth for Christ. The 65-year-old charity’s programs help young people make good choices, establish a solid foundation for life and positively impact the world around them.
Organizers are working on the Miami Over the Edge 2018 event, scheduled for Jan. 26-27, 2018. For more info, contact Scott Cabrera, director of philanthropy for The Keyes Company, at email@example.com.
Mike Pappas is president and CEO of The Keyes Company, while Christina Pappas is the district sales manager for the firm’s Brickell office. Father and daughter both are members of the Miami Association of Realtors. Christina Pappas currently is the District 4 vice president for Florida Realtors and was recently elected to serve as secretary of Florida Realtors in 2018.