Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Skydiver Exceeds His Goal for Parkinson's Research

Kevin Burkart reached his goal and then some in skydiving 100 times last Wednesday to raise funds for two organizations that research Parkinson's disease.

In the picture above, Burkart is making his 74th landing late afternoon Wednesday. He finished his 100th jump just after 8:30 Wednesday.

Burkart raised over $45,000, exceeding his goal of $40,000 for research into Parkinson's disease. More than $22,000 will go to both the Parkinson Association of Minnesota and the National Parkinson Foundation.

Burkart's father, Gary Burkart of Shell Lake, was diagnosed with Parkinson's nine years ago.

Prior to last Wednesday's marathon skydiving exhibition, Burkart had made about 700 jumps. He has been skydiving for about seven years.

In the fund raising event, two airplanes were used, six skydiving rigs and six to eight packers were busy, along with a host of other volunteers to assist with duties on the ground.

One of Burkart's jumps was a tribute to and in memory of Sam Nelson, a lifelong resident of Baldwin who passed away in 2000. Sam was 65 when he suffered from tremors and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.