"Paying it Skyward"
10 years after his death, the late Jerry Schrimsher is still "Paying it Skyward" through the annual SkyFest Boogie, recently held June15-21, 2010, at Skydive the Farm in Rockmart, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. In June, SkyFest organizer, J Schrimsher, once again brought together hundreds of Skydivers from across the United States, and internationally, to celebrate and contribute to the annual Skydiving Scholarship Award, an effort to carry on his father's unselfish tradition of working to bridge the gap between experienced skydivers and novice jumpers in order to promote safety, longevity and growth in the sport he spent 41 years loving and living.
Skydive The Farm, known for its lush open fields, magnificent swoop ponds,
and down-home southern charm (not to mention its own unique "farm animal"
hospitality), provided the perfect setting for a plethora of toys in the sky. If it can get airborne, it must be intended for a skyjump. The "animals" and their guests enjoyed countless sunrise and sunset hot air balloon jumps, helicopter drops, Skyvan dumps, endless Super Otter loads, and thrilling leaps from the lesser publicized "mystery aircraft".
Experienced load organizers from a wide range of skydiving disciplines were on hand to put together big-ways and mad freeflying. Chuck Akers and Bruce Crawford were instrumental in putting together the TeXXas 20-way Star, a formation of 20 skydivers who gathered from across the U.S. Former 4-Way World Champion, Jaimie Johnson, of Synchronicity, also gave of her time in organizing a multitude of "girl-ways" turning points in the sky.
The hot summer days of jumping were capped off by Farm-Style "festivities" in the evenings, highlighted by the SCR awards "ceremony" Saturday night, wherein each Star Crest Award recipient was "christened" in a cold and somewhat malty beverage deep conditioner/contact lens rinse, providing an otherwise refreshing end to the unrelenting Georgia heat and humidity. SkyFest also provided live entertainment in the evenings, including everything from "Hair Bands" (Black Friday) to flaming batons and belly dancers, led by Lindsay Galloway, the daughter of George Galloway, owner of the canopy manufacturer, Precision Aerodynamics.
Skydiving Scholarship awards were presented to 5 young jumpers who have
exemplified an unmistakable desire to grow in the sport and who have added an
exciting new energy to their respective DZ's: Samantha Conley, Kevin Tseng,
Sara Agee, Alex Green and Laura Golly. The skydiving scholarship awards have been given to many new jumpers across the country over the years.
Chuck Akers was honored with the Annual SkyFest Award, which recognizes those who give back or "Pay it Skyward" and who do it for the pure joy and passion found in helping others, what Jerry did for 41 years.
Since 2001, SkyFest boasts close to 30,000 jumps and 2100 jumpers from 17 different countries, but proudly only 26 cutaways and one fracture. Sponsoring DZ's of SkyFest have been located in Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi. SkyFest has hosted aircraft including an Apache, AN2, Champ, L39, Pitts, C 206, Pac 750, Mooney, P51 Mustang, Super Otter, Hot Air Balloon, Casa, C 182, Grand Caravan, King Air and 12 powered parachutes. SkyFest has also been home to numerous records including Women's Belly Fly, FreeFly, 2nd Generation and the World's largest SCR ceremony. SkyFest has awarded more than 70 scholarship awards to its participants since 2001.
After 7 days of Farm-family festivities, freefalling, frolicking, flying fetishes, and one flashy ill-advised truck swoop, another fabulous Boogie is in the books. Congratulations to each of the Scholarship winners and Star Crest Award recipients and many thanks to not only the jumpers, but the volunteers, load organizers, packers, staff, pilots, manufacturers and Skydive the Farm,
all of whom contributed to yet another successful SkyFest.
BLUE SKIES to our brother, Jerry Schrimsher, for continuing to "Pay it Skyward."