What happens when a year-long plan develops into 350 skydivers, 3 fixed-wing aircraft, a helicopter and 5 days in August? Then add 17 organizers from around the globe, 7 pilots, and a hard-working staff? Mix in 7,000 gallons of Jet Fuel, UCW Wrestling, a beer truck, four food vendors, and DJ Anthony Motto? It all adds up to 3,322 skydives, a new Virginia State Vertical Record, and doesn’t begin to sum up the fun, laughter, and memories of the Big O 2017 – Outta This World Boogie!
The “Big O” Boogie started as a memorial to honor Daniel Stig Fabio (aka “Mr. Fabulous), and the event was known as the Mr. Fabulous boogie. He was killed in a skydiving accident in 2000. In 2001, Skydive Orange hosted the Mr. Fabulous boogie to memorialize Dan. In 2002, it turned into the Annual Orange Boogie and it became known as “The Big O”. Last year, Larry Leibler and I turned it into a 5-day event… and well, here we are!
As I tried to verbalize at the event (after 1,426 jumps on Saturday alone!), there are too many folks to thank for hosting such an amazing event. We couldn’t have done it without a long list of folks, including:
Our Load Organizers who traveled from the far corners to offer amazing skydives and coaching (in no particular order): Lawrence De Laubadere, Dave Rhea, Matthew Fry, Scotty Bob, Chris Mort, Jay Veenendaal, Sandy Grillet, Taya Weiss, Katie Hansen, Sam Smith, Doug Barron, Jason Johnson McLovinn, Andrew Happick, Scott Callantine, Christine Bruchac, Daniel Wilson and Sean Scheurer.
An awesome video staff who captured everyone’s smiling faces and epic jumps: D Squared: David Cherry + David Wybenga; and Kelsey Mizeur
A tireless crew of pilots: Rabbitt Staib, Mark Watkins, Josh Sutton, Roy C. Harper Jr. , Brent Cole and Brendon Blue.
A relentless ground crew of loaders and fuelers: So Du, Brian Marcus, Mike Lopez and AirBoss, Chuck Hashek and Ground Safety Officer, Kevin Gibson.
Industry Vendors who showed their wares and joined in the fun: Aerodyne, UPT, LiquidSky Sports, J. Stotts Rigging, Chuting Star, Kua Sky, Icarus Canopies by NZ Aerosports.
Rahlmo’s Parachute Rigging and the Gear Store at Skydive Orange for boogie support and boogie bag sponsorship.
The food trucks that kept us fed: Cravin’ Raven‘s, Blue Ridge Pizza Co., Borinquen Lunch Box, Mountainview BBQ and Catering.
The Manifest staff that kept their energy up and worked tirelessly to keep everyone in the air and kept a smile on their faces: Whitney Payne, Reanna Faith Tisch, Austin Hodge, Eric Breeden, Dr. Elizabeth Kang.
To Whitney Payne, Dr. Elizabeth Kang, and Reanna Tisch for the long hours into planning and keeping my sanity over the past months and year.
To the entire Packing Staff (too many to list!) — I can’t believe how hard you worked to keep everyone jumping! Thanks to Jon Stotts for keeping everything in order as Managing Sr. Rigger.
And the nightly entertainment that kept us laughing and dancing into the wee hours: DJ Anthony Motto, Ultimate Championship Wrestling LLC.
To fellow management, Chuck Hashek (DZM) and Mario Ripa (Ops Manager) for their dedication and hard work.
And most importantly, to our club members, guests, and jumpers who comprised the skydives, the party and the fun – without you, none of this would have happened!
It has taken me two weeks to analyze, absorb the magnitude, and fully realize the impact of this year’s event. And of course, to start dreaming big for next year… Big O 2018 is in the works!
A huge thank you to you all and see you next year!
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