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MAYOR'S MESSAGE: I'm going to jump

Skydive for charity set for high above Fenwick's verdant fields

With Summerfest now in the rearview mirror, I will be focusing most of my thoughts on Saturday, July 29. That is the day that I will be stepping out of an airplane in flight as part of a fundraiser for Pelham Cares. Hopefully, I will have remembered to strap on a parachute before disembarking the cabin.

On my 60th birthday, 10 years ago, my son Zach accompanied me on a previous jump. That jump was strictly an adrenaline fix, no fundraising involved. My youngest son Isaac also accompanied us but he stayed firmly planted on the ground. His reason, “In case there are complications.”

The jump was to take place around 2 p.m., so we decided to go for a huge late lunch (last meal?) in beautiful downtown Dunnville. We capped the meal off with large chocolate shakes. I remember wondering if having so much food inside of us was such a great idea. Hindsight. 20/20. Etc.

Once back at the airport we were able to watch two other jumpers successfully complete their jumps. If the chute deploys (and really, why wouldn’t it—unless the chute-packer had partied late into the previous morning and absentmindedly miscounted the number of folds—but really what are the odds of that happening?) then the next dangerous event is the landing. My job was to keep my feet 18 inches off the ground to let the fellow strapped to my back do his thing, which from my perspective is to take the brunt of the fall. Speaking about this fellow, about six months after I had completed my first jump, I heard a rather chilling report of a skydive in Atlanta, Georgia. Apparently just as the tandem jumpers leapt from the plane, the guy on the back, the instructor, suffered a fatal heart attack. After free-falling several thousand feet, the front jumper realized he was having a very one-sided conversation. Luckily, he was able to locate the appropriate rip cord and landed safely, if somewhat shaken.

With this in mind, for this fundraising jump I will be asking for a younger instructor. Hmm, but wait. He won’t have the experience of an older instructor. But wait, his heart will be more robust… But wait...suddenly July 29 is approaching way too fast.

I have had various suggestions on how I can turn this into an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime fundraiser, but none of them have me around on the 30th.

I believe the other three municipalities that own the airport with Pelham have either their mayor or a representative participating, so it would be nice to have the Town of Pelham donate the most. Pelham Cares has been helping town residents for 40 years, so it will be nice to show them our appreciation at a time when food prices have gone sky-high.

If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, just go to the Pelham Cares website and hit the donate tab. Thanks in advance!


Correction: An earlier headline stated that the Mayor would be making his leap into the great blue yonder next Sunday. He will in fact be stepping out into nothing but air on Saturday, July 29.