Big Jump skydiving event to benefit Extra Special People

The Extra Special People facility in Watkinsville provides a range of activities for young people dealing with various developmental disabilities. A Saturday event in Monroe, dubbed the Big Jump, will feature skydiving as a fundraiser for ESP. Among the jumpers will be local celebrities paired with ESP campers. (Photo/ John Roark, Athens Banner-Herald)

Extra Special People of Watkinsville is hosting its sixth annual Big Jump fundraiser at 10 a.m. Saturday at Skydive Monroe.

 

The event will be a culmination of the fundraising efforts from more than 40 individuals and teams to provide scholarships for children with development disabilities to attend ESP’s summer camp.

Participants have already collected nearly 90 percent of Big Jump’s $50,000 goal, but now have less than a week to collect the remaining $7,000.

To qualify for the dive, jumpers must individually raise at least $600 for ESP, but many go well beyond that, with the top fundraiser awarded the Matthew Dooley Award.

In addition to the individual jumpers, there are also five “celebrity pair” jump teams comprising a member of the community and an ESP camper.

Christy Terrell, regional external affairs manager for Georgia Power, and ESP camper Hannah Baird are one of the celebrity pairs who will be skydiving together on Saturday.

“Years ago, my late brother, Ron Roland, taught me to rely on my heart instead of my head when it comes to what truly matters,” Terrell said. “Although I am afraid to skydive, I am putting those fears to the side in honor of a great man who believed we should experience life to its fullest despite any real or perceived limitations.”

The other four celebrity jump teams are Oconee County School Superintendent Jason Branch and ESP camper Amber Young, American Pest Control CEO Laurie Higginbotham and ESP camper Kimi Gilbert, United Way of Northeast Georgia CEO Matthew Purkey and ESP camper Kendra Clark, and Oconee County Sherriff Scott Berry and ESP camper Colin Allen.

In addition to the skydiving spectacle, Saturday’s event in Monroe will feature live music, airplane rides, and several other festival activities.

To find out more about Big Jump, visit extraspecialpeople.com/bigjump.

To donate, visit extraspecialpeople.kindful.com/jump2017.

 

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