PHOTOS: Unique fundraiser raises money for anti-bullying programs

Franklin County

Western Massachusetts skydivers have become the newest players in the crusade against bullying.

They jumped out of planes from 13,500 feet in the air to raise money for the Western Massachusetts Unify against Bullying.

Werner Maiwaly, Unify’s operations director, told 22New, “We try to teach diversity and understanding, and hopefully that message will get out. Events like this will help in that direction.”

Sky jumpers of all ages helped raise money. The youngest is just eighteen years old.

Kyle Zemba of East Longmeadow wants to help boost the self-esteem of bullying victims. “We’re flying because there’s a lot of people out there who feel like they’re are outcasts, they feel they don’t matter. By jumping, it almost shows them, to get over fear, you need to jump.”

These jumpers learn to skydive at Jumptown, a skydiving club with a long history.

Jumptown is one of the classic skydiving institutions in the United States. This is where commercial skydiving started in the U.S. We’re talking back in the late fifties.”

Organizers are pleased with the results of this first-ever fundraiser through skydiving. The event is expected to have raised more than $25,000 in the battle against bullies.

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