Jump For The Rose Collects Funds and a World Record
ROSHARON – Four female skydivers set a new world record for largest vertical skydiving formation performed in a head-up orientation (also known as sit-flying or feet-first flying) at Skydive Spaceland on Aug. 11. The women achieved the record on their eleventh attempt during the annual Jump for the Rose fundraiser, which benefits The Rose, a nonprofit breast health organization providing screenings and diagnostics.
Head-up group skydiving records are relatively new on the world scene, and the Texas girls are the first to claim a world record in this category. This type of skydiving is high-speed and challenging even for very experienced jumpers. The four women who set the record—Cara Considine and Charity Kelly of the Dallas area with Tammie Frank and Alexandra Neale of Houston—were part of a group of 12 women working together to achieve the world record. Brad Perkins flew with the ladies to record the record performance. Three qualified judges have certified the performance, which is awaiting final ratification by the international governing body of aeronautics.
“Not only did I see some of the best all female feet first flying ever, I saw some of the best feet first flying, period,” said Ben Nelson, one of the group’s videographers and mentors.
“This is an amazing start to show what female skydivers can achieve,” said Neale. “I can’t wait to see this record broken again and again.”
The Jump for the Rose event was a great success in fundraising as well as record-setting. “We had our best year ever!” said Jump for the Rose founder Marian Sparks. “It was an honor to have some of the most talented lady skydivers attend and get the world record at our event! We raised more money than ever due to the generous support of our friends and sponsors. Donations are still coming in, and we expect to be able to donate more money to The Rose than we gave last year, which was $17,000.
“We are grateful for the awesome weather we had and to Skydive Spaceland for providing such a great facility to hold our event,” she added
The Annual Pinkfest Mini Boogie and JFTR Main Event featured two days of skydiving, BBQ, Gumbo, raffle and silent auctions, all in support of The Rose. JFTR Founder Marian Sparks had her breast cancer diagnosed at The Rose and was navigated to treatment at a time when she was without health insurance. Now she gives back to other women in need with the annual event (in its fourth year) which has raised more than $50,000 to date.
- Gulcin Gilbert, creator of the Pink Skies documentary with her stunning depiction of the Jump for the Cause’s trek to a Women’s World Record Skydive and the battle to educate and prevent breast cancer.
- Freefly/Freestyle Organizers: Merriah Eakins, Multiple-time U.S. National Freestyle Champion
- Wingsuit Organizers Gilaad Elstein, Mike Swearingen
- Videographer Norman Kent will have cameras rolling all weekend
- Merriah Eakins of Team Flew-ID is a National Champion Freestyle Skydiver
Jump for the Rose (JFTR) is a grassroots 501(c)3 corporation. As a men’s and women’s skydiving organization, JFTR is dedicated to raising funds for The Rose, a Houston-area breast cancer clinic. The clinic’s mission is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by providing screening, diagnostics and access to treatment for all women regardless of their ability to pay. Their services covered screening and successful breast cancer treatments for Jump for the Rose’s founder, Marian Sparks.
In 2010, Jump for the Rose began hosting state record events for the largest women’s skydiving formations completed in Texas. In its brief history, the group has hosted this Head-Up World Record, three successful Women’s Texas State Records and a National Women’s Sequential Skydiving record. Their slogan: “Skydive—Have Fun—Give Back!”
Skydive Spaceland is a three-generation family-owned and -operated skydiving business located in Rosharon, Texas, just south of Houston, Texas. First opened for business in February 2000 by Steve Boyd, Sr., Skydive Spaceland has grown into a truly world-class skydiving facility open 7 days a week and capable of handling hundreds of skydivers jumping daily. More than 100,000 skydiving students have been instructed at Spaceland and the center facilitates about 70,000 skydives per year.
Skydive Spaceland has also played host to the world’s largest skydiving competition, the United Parachuting Association National Skydiving Championships (2009) , as well as several other large competitions including the U.S. National Collegiate Parachuting Championships and multiple U.S. National Canopy Piloting Championships. Several state, national, and world records have also been set at Spaceland including the Texas State Record 150-person skydive in 2007, 168-person skydive in 2011, and multiple Women’s Texas State Record skydives held jointly as fundraisers for Jump for the Rose.