He did it. He jumped out of a plane and lived to share the pictures and one incredible video. All while raising money for some Extra Special kids to attend summer camp.
960 The Ref and WGAU Radio’s Logan Booker was asked two months ago by local charity Extra Special People - during a live broadcast on Instagram - to participate in ESP’s ‘Big Jump 2019’ as a “celebrity” jumper, with a goal of raising money to send special needs kids to summer camp. Despite a gargantuan fear of heights and even commercial flying, he agreed to take the plunge.
Booker didn’t need to look far for advice on how to handle the jumping aspect. His older brother Brandon has been a professional skydive instructor for nearly 15 years. Brandon has more than 8,000 jumps in his career, more than 3,500 of them taking tandem students on their first jump. And when he isn’t jumping from planes, he can be found BASE jumping off of cliffs, towers, and bridges, or “speed fling” down a mountainside - the act of deploying your parachute while simultaneously running off the side of a mountain then navigating a small parachute to the base of said mountain at a high rate of speed.
But despite the family ties, Logan never had the itch or urge to tag along with his brother into the sky.
Logan was matched up with Drew Hammond, an Extra Special People beneficiary team member from Watkinsville. The two of them were able beat their goal of $2,500, raising $3,812. Which was enough for fifth place among all fundraisers involved in the event. And on Saturday at Skydive Monroe in Monroe, Ga, he lived up to his end of the deal... and jumped.
“There is nothing that feels normal about rapidly ascending in a small plane to 15,000 feet, wedged between a stranger’s legs as he attaches heavy duty equipment to a harness you are wearing, and then having the door on the plane open up and then being asked to jump out,” Booker said. “Everything about it feels wrong. But the exact millisecond you leave the plane and are among the heavens in the sky you realize that you are actually flying. Not falling, per say, but flying. Which every single person has dreamt of at some point. The abundance of fear immediately turns into what can only be described as spiritual bliss. It’s a feeling I cannot justly put into words. It’s something you would have to experience for yourself before you ever understood such a swift transition of emotions that reside on polar opposite ends of the spectrum.”
Will he ever do it again?
“Probably not,” Booker said. “Never say never, but I’m happy I did it but I am also equally as happy that it’s over. What I do have now is an entire new respect for the sport, and a new understanding of why people do it. But that box is checked. For now.”
Logan can be heard talking sports on 960 TheRef’s Morning Show weekday’s from 6-10am, and as the midday news anchor from 10am-3pm on our 98.7 FM and AM1340, Athens News and Weather Station WGAU.
About Extra Special People
Extra Special People, Inc., (ESP), a 501 (c)(3) is a nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in the 26-county area surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1987. With ever-expanding after-school programs, weekend clubs, an eight-week long summer camp and family resources, ESP now reaches more than 425 children, with an ongoing dream of reaching every Northeast Georgia family that has a need and a desire to help their special child grow and thrive.