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W.Va. Skydivers jumping in to help local charity

John Garrido has been skydiving for eight years and will be attempting to set his first record by doing the most skydives in one day.

On Sunday, Sept. 5, he plans on doing 25 jumps. Garrido and rest of the West Virginia Skydivers are hoping to have a big crowd there not only to support him, but also to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State.

The event will take place at the Robert Newlon Airpark in Lesage, W.Va., and begin at 11 a.m. and last until 6 p.m.

The cost for spectators is $1 for individuals or $5 for families.

In addition to money raised through admission, sponsors have also donated money and money will also be raised through a raffle. All proceeds for the event will be going to the Ronald McDonald House. Amanda Garrido, support staff for the West Virginia Skydivers, said they have a little bit of everything to raffle off.

“We have everything from gift cards to shingles to raffle off,” Amanda Garrido said.

In addition to skydiving entertainment, the event will also feature a candy drop, pony rides, live music and volleyball and cornhole games.

Amanda Garrido said the event started just as a way to make the new skydiving business known to the public by setting a new record. But she said instead of just having a few people get together to watch the record-setting dive, it seemed like a great way to get other people involved and to help out a charity in the process.

“So far it has just taken right off, a lot faster than I expected it to,” she said.

Margaret Wilson is the house manager for the Ronald McDonald House of the Tri-State, Inc., in Huntington, W.Va., and is very thankful for the fundraiser.

“We’re really appreciative of it,” Wilson said. “We are still carrying a million dollar debt from our expansion in 2004.”

Wilson said the Ronald McDonald House provides lodging for families who have children in area hospitals.

“It’s all by donation, and while their child is in the hospital they can stay there in the Ronald McDonald house and have the companionship of others in the same situation and a safe, secure place to stay,” Wilson said.

The expansion provided the Ronald McDonald House with enough space to house 20 families.

Wilson said the Ronald McDonald House is funded largely through donations and there are many volunteers who work there to help things run smoothly.

“We have a big house,” Wilson said. “It does cost a lot to run it. We made the house much more livable for our families who are here when we did the expansion, and it’s very important for people to fundraise on our behalf and we appreciate it.”

John Garrido is hoping this fundraiser will bring in a lot of people.

“I would just love to see a good turnout for this,” he said. “It is going for a good charity. They do a lot of great things. They have a very nice facility here in Huntington and take care of families. Come out and help support them.”

More information about the event can be obtained by calling Amanda Garrido at (304) 521-7703.