Operation Dean Drop

Dean of Dentistry Tom Boran's big descent

- June 28, 2013

Dr. Boran begins his walk down the side of Fenwick Towers. (Danny Abriel photos)
Dr. Boran begins his walk down the side of Fenwick Towers. (Danny Abriel photos)

It’s a long way down — but the effort goes a long way in helping kids.

Last Friday, June 21, more than 60 participants rappelled down Fenwick Towers in Halifax to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation. The annual “Rope for Hope” event helps support the Foundation's efforts to grant wishes to children facing life-threatening medical conditions.

Thirty-two storeys in the air, about to begin his rappel back to solid ground, Dalhousie Dean of Dentistry Tom Boran couldn’t have looked calmer.

“It actually seemed higher than it was, so that was good,” said Dr. Boran, upon completing his descent down the tallest residential structure east of Montreal. Mother Nature didn’t make it easy, though, with some impressive winds. “The wind is right in your face — and to know that you’re just attached by a couple of ropes!”

Dr. Boran credited the on-site volunteers for helping him and the other brave souls who came out for Rope for Hope. “They really get you in the mood to rappel and [they] take the anxiety away.”

All in the name of the cause

Does Dr. Boran have a fear of heights? He admitted as such, but says those fears seemed to disappear after he and the other participants were introduced to a young boy who was being sponsored by one of the women taking part. “That’s what we’re here for,” he said. “It just made it right. It gave us the energy to go up there and just do it.”

When asked what would posses him to attempt such a feat, Dr. Boran said the idea from one of the Faculty of Dentistry’s alumni, Elaine Gordon, who is a volunteer for Make-A-Wish. “I couldn’t turn her down,” he says.

Not only did Dr. Boran follow through on the event, but he dramatically surpassed his own fundraising goal. With a target of $1,500, he ended up raising more than $3,600.

Getting to witness and support Make-A-Wish’s work allowed Dr. Boran to reflect on how grateful he is for his own health, as well as they health of his family.

“I have grandchildren and thank goodness they are healthy, but just to see how blessed I am, knowing there is a way for me to give back to the community to make a wish come true for a child is amazing.”

See more photos of Dr. Boran's rappel on Dalhousie's Facebook Page.

Dr. Boran with friends and supporters from the Faculty of Dentistry. (Danny Abriel photos)


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