Rappel team to jump-start Bridge Day Steve Keenan, The Register-Herald
An all-female team will jump-start Bridge Day 2007 by raising the American and West Virginia flags on Saturday, according to rappel coordinator Benjy Simpson.
The day’s festivities will begin about 9 a.m. with Berta Kirchman and Mary Pat Jones ascending a rope with the two flags. Then, at 3 p.m., the mother/daughter duo of Tama and Kelly Cassidy will mark the official close of Bridge Day, rappelling with the two flags.
Kirchman, a Tennessee resident, is a member of the event’s safety team and is the women’s world record holder in the National Speleological Society’s 120-meter rope climb.
Jones, a college student from Atlanta, Ga., holds the women’s world record in 30-meter rope climbing and is a member of the TAG Pit Crew.
Like Kirchman, Tama Cassidy is a member of the safety team, and her daughter, Kelly, is a member of Extreme Rappels. They hail from Ohio.
According to Simpson, Robert Handley will once again be the oldest person to rappel from the New River Gorge Bridge this year. Handley, 79, is a member of the VBats team.
Brian Masney has posted a great 2007 Bridge Day Rappel collection on Flickr. Brian gives credit to all the photographers for their contribution to the collection: Brian Masney, John Harman, Bob Griffith, Mary Davis, Dave Riggs, Garth Dixon and Jen Cogar.