KCBI/Dallas sent two of its on-air staff hurtling through the clouds on Thursday, June 27, in a unique fundraising initiative. After a discussion about greatest fears on Mornings with Jeff & Rebecca, in which morning show host Jeff Taylor indicated he was afraid of heights, the general manager of a local skydiving venue called in to offer Jeff the opportunity to conquer his fears – by jumping from an airplane, free of charge.
Because KCBI is a listener-supported ministry, a listener then put out the recommendation to raise funds for the station, to give Jeff a little incentive. The gauntlet was thrown down – if listeners could raise $30,000, Jeff would agree to jump. The fundraising initiative began on June 10, and the $30,000 goal was met within 9 days… so Jeff and Rebecca decided to sweeten the pot. For an additional $10,000 raised, Jeff would push his boss, program director Joel Burke, out of the plane. That goal was met in less than 24 hours.
After a morning training session and a lot of nervous waiting, Jeff and Joel both jumped at Skydive Spaceland Dallas on Thursday, June 27.
“It was unbelievable,” said Jeff. “We jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet. I mean, the freefall freaked me out at first, but we flew, and just to watch the earth get closer… and then I pulled the chute, we floated, we talked, we had a great time.”
“As soon as you jump out of the plane it takes your breath away,” said Joel. “And then you start the freefall. At about 6500 feet I reached around and popped the cord of the parachute, and then this peacefulness just came over me. We were just looking at the majesty of the clouds, and we kind of floated in and out of the clouds. For me it was just kind of a spiritual experience, just to look at the majesty of the land below us.”