Nathan Gaudreault, left, and Tyler Gress work their way up The Rock Dump’s climbing walls on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2008. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Nathan Gaudreault, left, and Tyler Gress work their way up The Rock Dump’s climbing walls on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2008. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Rock Dump fundraises to move gym

Juneau’s only climbing gym is looking for a new location. The move comes with a big fundraising challenge, which they’ll attempt to overcome, at least in part, with a silent auction and film screening on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m.

Juneau Climbing & Recreation (JCR) has fundraised through their “Reel Rock” film screenings annually for the past five years. The event this year has increased in scale, said event chair Alisha Falberg in an interview with the Empire this week.

“We’re hoping this year is one of our bigger years because the need is a little bit greater,” Falberg said.

JCR has moved the event to Centennial Hall Convention Center to accommodate a larger crowd than usual. So far, they’ve solicited donations and help from close to 200 businesses. The group will accept donations for the silent auction until Nov. 30.

JCR is the community organization that runs the Rock Dump climbing gym, which has operated out of a Thane Road building bought by Alaska Coach Tours (ACT) in 2012. ACT bought the building to house some of their buses, but put their plans on hold for the building “without any regrets,” company president Dennis McDonnell told the Empire in February.Helping to keep the town’s only rock climbing gym open was the “right thing to do” for the community, he said.

But McDonnell couldn’t offer good terms on the lease forever, and earlier this year, asked the Rock Dump to become more financially independent. In June, JCR said they had to come to terms with McDonnell to extend the lease by 18 months by raising user rates, allowing them time to come up with a business plan and find a suitable location before their current lease expires at the end of 2018.

Donations and questions about the Reel Rock film screening can be directed to Falberg at falbergal@gmail.com. JCR is asking for gift certificates, novelty items, apparel, accommodations, experiential opportunities and sports and entertainment event tickets.

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