Planning for Wish Jump 2013 is underway, and we’re super excited for another great event! Stay tuned for details coming soon!
Wish Jump is very thankful this holiday season for each and every one of its participants and supporters for two very successful years of fundraising for the children of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. Your generosity, enthusiasm, and passion for Make-A-Wish and its mission is truly appreciated. We can’t wait for 2013!
We have been painfully reminded on more than one occasion this holiday season of how precious and short life can be. Wish Jump wishes all of you, and all of the children and families of Make-A-Wish, a very safe, healthy and joyous holiday season. Wish Jump hopes that your time spent with loved ones is longer, your hugs are tighter, and your laughter is louder. God bless, and blue skies!
Wish Jump 2012 participants and supporters send their deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to all of those impacted by the senseless shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. We understand that your sorrow is inexplicable at this time. Know that you will stay in our hearts and prayers now, and in the months ahead. God bless each of you.
To say yesterday was an amazing day doesn’t even begin to describe how well everything went for Wish Jump 2012.
25 flawless jumps thanks to Saratoga Skydiving Adventures, and $25,000 raised for Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. I’m a bit speechless this morning. MANY thanks to many people for your donations, hard work, generosity, and showing up to support friends and family.
Pictures and donation updates will be added in the days ahead, as donations continue to come in. Donations can continue to be made through mid-September.
Again, thank you everyone for everything!
The big day is almost here! Tomorrow’s weather forecast is, umm…PERFECT.
Family, friends, all are welcome to come out and spend the day watching 25 of us float from the sky at Saratoga Skydiving Adventures. We’ll have fresh squeezed lemonade by Main Squeeze Lemonade, and ice cream by Taylor Freezer of Albany, Inc. All proceeds from these sales will be donated to Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. Neighboring Airway Meadows Golf Course will also be on site with concessions.
The parking lot will fill early, so please park along Brownville Road. Cars should be kept off the grass. Please don’t park on the runway.
(That last part was a joke.)
Most importantly, thank you to every single one of our donors. We have all of you to thank for the success of this event – which means more wishes for local children with life threatening illnesses. Wishes that give the kids something fun, positive, and exciting to look forward to. As of 6:00 pm this evening, we have raised $23,695 towards our goal of $25,000. All of the jumpers have worked very hard, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.
Check back over the weekend for updates and pictures of the event!
On August 25, 2012, when I skydive along with the rest of the Wish Jump 2012 team, I’ll have no fear as I step out of the plane. I know that my Guardian Angel Xavier will be right there, soaring alongside of me like a true Superhero, until I land safely on the ground.
Xavier LOVED superheroes, especially Batman and Robin. Confined to the home because of his illness, his Wish was for a Batman and Robin room makeover. Not only was his bedroom made into his very own Batcave (complete with a red Bat Phone for those important calls from the Commissioner), Xavier also got to meet Batman and Robin, and spend time with them in his new room.
Just seven months later, at the age of five, Xavier ended his very courageous fight with mitochondrial disease. He earned his wings at home in his room, surrounded by superheroes, just like he wished. The family now uses his room as their family room, where they watch Xavier’s favorite Batman movies together, play games, and keep his spirit alive.
Several skydivers for Wish Jump 2012 are also Make-A-Wish Northeast New York staff and volunteers. How cool is that – jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, free falling through the air 1000 feet every 6 seconds at a speed of about 120 mph, all while raising money to grant wishes - now that’s dedication!
Meet Wish Granter, Wish Jumper, Dena Haberland…
Q. How many years have you been a volunteer Wish Granter? A. Eight years.
Q. How many wishes have you granted? A. I’m working on my fifteenth wish right now.
Q. What’s your most memorable wish granting experience? A. One (of many) memorable moments was when I tied a big red bow around an 8 week old black pug puppy and sent him up the street in a limo. The everlasting bright smile on Austin’s face when his new puppy jumped into his arms melted my heart. This was a wish that stays with Austin every day – a loving, loyal, companion!
Wishes like Dena’s come true because of the generosity of Make-A-Wish donors. If you’d like to make a donation on behalf of Dena, and help her reach her fundraising goal of $1,500, CLICK HERE.
Several skydivers for Wish Jump 2012 are also Make-A-Wish Northeast New York staff and volunteers. How cool is that – jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, free falling through the air 1000 feet every 6 seconds at a speed of about 120 mph – now that’s dedication!
Meet Wish Granter, Wish Jumper, Danielle Sanzone…
Q. How many years have you been a volunteer Wish Granter? A. Six years.
Q. How many wishes have you granted? A. Ten.
Q. What’s your most memorable wish granting experience? A. My most memorable experience was escorting a young boy, who had already had multiple surgeries all over his body, to the airport for his wish to stay at the Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The wheelchair-bound boy was a huge Spiderman fan, so my brother volunteered to wear a Spiderman suit to the airport. It was quite a site seeing Spidey going through airport security with the boy and his family, and then I got the biggest hug from him right before he got on the plane!
Q. What are some of the other wishes you’ve granted? A. A trip to London, a Christmas shopping spree in the Capital District, a trip to Hawaii, a playground, and a room makeover.
Wishes like Danielle’s come true because of the generosity of Make-A-Wish donors. If you’d like to make a donatation on behalf of Danielle and help her reach her fundraising goal of $750, CLICK HERE.
Thank you Danielle for your dedication to Make-A-Wish Northeast New York and for choosing to participate in Wish Jump 2012!
Leo Dean of Norvest Financial Services, Inc. in Latham is a Capital Region native and WWII veteran paratrooper. He’s also Secretary to the Albany Port District Commission. After his wife passed away in 1998, he began to wonder if he still had the nerve to “step out the door.” He called a friend that was a skydiver and Leo soon found himself up in a plane and ready to pull the rip cord once again. By 2009, at the age of 85, Leo completed more than 130 jumps. Today he still goes skydiving around the country and in Europe, and has joined the Wish Jump 2012 team in support of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York.
Yes, Leo, I’d say you’ve still got the nerve!
Leo served our country as a member of the U.S. Army 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team (PRCT), one of the U.S. Army’s first elite combat units, which began its existence in March of 1943, training in the backwoods of Georgia. Although it began as an element of the 17th Airborne Division and was eventually incorporated into the 13th Airborne Division, the 517th saw most of its combat in Italy, southern France, and the Battle of the Bulge, as an independent unit.
Before its dissolution after only thirty-three months, the outfit of 2,500 men endured some of the heaviest fighting of the European campaigns – from Italy through the invasion of Southern France, then the bitter winter in the Ardennes (in the Battle of the Bulge) and the final thrust into Germany.
During its relatively brief lifetime, the 517th Regimental Parachute Combat Team collected one Medal of Honor, six Distinguished Service Crosses, five Legion of Merits, 131 Silver Stars, 631 Bronze Stars, 2 Air Medals, 4 Soldiers Medals, 17 French Croix De Guerre, and 1,576 Purple Hearts — at the cost of 252 killed. The 517th was formally deactivated in 1946.
It’s an honor to have Leo as part of our team.
Read more about Leo in this excellent article by Paul Grondahl of the Times Union, “French Medal Honors 1944 Heroics”. Listen to Leo here on Growing Bolder Radio. Read more about the 517th PRCT here.