When MaryJane Sherr of Phillipsburg, NJ decided to celebrate her birthday, she wanted to also accomplish one last item on her list of things to do in life: skydiving. Since it was to be her eightieth birthday, she was very careful in her selection of skydiving schools. Knowing the value of experience and an impeccable safety record, she chose the Above the Poconos Skydivers.
Her life partner and husband of fifty-eight years, Robert, decided to join her, because "she would never let me live it down" if I didn't go. So they made a practice run to the Skydiving Center in Hazleton, PA just to make sure that they could find it and to meet the people that would make this an extra special skydiving birthday celebration.
When the day finally arrived, their daughter Robin went along as ground support and was obviously more nervous than our octogenarian jumpers. After the paperwork and introductory skydiving lesson, they boarded the aircraft with their instructors and photographers. Watch the quicktime movie below to see a snippet of their skydiving adventure.
These folks are truly inspirational in their everlasting love for each other and their ability to live life to its fullest!
This 3903K quicktime skydiving video
was filmed by two freefall videographer's,
Jason Antolick and Darlene Kellner.
Skydiving movie edited by Darlene.
The skydiving music was made in Garageband by Nelson and Jankowski.
Richard is an octogenarian that survived a stroke and cancer and to further inspire his cancer support group he decided to go skydiving for his 80th birthday! He was so touched by the skydiving experience that he wrote us a lovely letter. Thank you for your appreciation Richard!
Skydiving photo of Steve Zalutsky with Don Kellner as tandem skydiving instructor
being filmed by skydiving videographer, Darlene Kellner. Photo by Sal Trasente
Steve Zalutsky of Whitehall, PA
was born in 1924
. While in the armed forces from March 1943 through February 1946, he watched paratroopers jumping into enemy lines. At that time he thought that he would like to take at least one parachute jump before he passed from the face of the earth. Life just kept getting in the way though. So on August 10th, 1986 he reached the age of 62, and he thought that he’d better do it now before he gets too old. He went with a group of friends to the Hazleton Municipal Airport and made his first tandem skydive from 12,000 feet with instructor Rick Eckrote. That was it! He was hooked. He even went on to make solo jumps, but age, wisdom and medical conditions have made him decide to stick with tandem skydives.
On August 18, 2001 at the ripe young age of 77, he celebrated his 100th skydive with an official presentation of his own honorary jumpsuit and helmet from the Above the Poconos Skydivers staff. Family and friends gathered for the momentous occasion and two freefall photographers captured the moment on both video and still pictures. He was accompanied on this skydive by Guinness Record Holding Skydiving Instructor, Don Kellner. Upon landing, his wife firmly stated “That’s it, have you had enough?” With a twinkle in his eye, he said “Sorry love, but I intend to keep skydiving as long as the lord and my body is willing to let me.”
Pictures of his 77th birthday skydive are used in our skydiving lessons to show how a skydiving videographer interacts with the tandem skydivers. Last year he celebrated his 80th birthday by skydiving once again. Steve has represented the spirit of the sport so much that the Above the Poconos Skydivers voted him their Skydiver of the Year! Congratulations to Steve "tandem man" Zalutsky may you always feel the freedom of flight. Geronimo!!!! You truly know why birds sing!
Steve was taken from us due to natural causes. His natural family came out and celebrated his wonderful life with his skydiving family, by making tandem skydives while carrying Steve's ashes for one last eternal flight. The experienced skydivers flew a missing man formation for a close friend and inspiration that will remain close to all of our hearts and free spirits.
*Above the Poconos Skydivers takes great care and pride in making skydiving available to all that desire to do it.
If you have health issues, you must get doctor approval prior to skydiving with us.
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