By Outer Banks Voice on September 15, 2013
Dewey Parr III had family, friends and co-workers who loved him. He didn’t seek notoriety.
When the local spotlight was thrust upon him, what we saw was a shy, humble man who wasn’t really comfortable being at the center of attention.
And he probably never dreamed four local personalities would be jumping out of an airplane in his honor to raise funds that will most certainly save lives.
We’re asking the Voice’s readers and Max Radio of the Carolina’s listeners to open their hearts and wallets for a great cause, “Kickstart A Heart — The Dewey Parr Challenge.”
When Parr suffered a heart attack on May 28, only one police car on the entire Outer Banks was equipped with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
That day, Kill Devil Hills police Capt. Mark Evans, the sole officer with an AED, was minutes away when Dare Central dispatched a call for help.
Parr’s life was saved.
About four weeks ago, the SAGA fundraising effort was just over half way to the $30,000 goal.The Voice was thinking about doing a video segment on Skydive OBX, a new outdoor experience that opened this past summer, allowing thrill-seekers to parachute from Manteo airport.
After talking with Max Radio of the Carolina’s general sales manager Bob Davis, it was decided to turn a “story” into a fundraiser.
What if four local personalities competed to jump out of a perfectly good airplane to raise money for the AED effort?
A plan was hatched.
Of the four jumpers, only two would earn the right to parachute from an airplane. Three would be people who had never parachuted before. The fourth would be a jumper with prior experience.
Heather McLay, owner of Skydive OBX, along with Sven Jseppi were contacted and she immediately donated the plane and two free jumps.
Amit Gupta, one of the principal owners of SAGA Construction &Development, also signed.
The plan was for Dewey Parrr to join the four jumpers on the radio and in the virtual pages of the Voice as the focus of what this campaign was all about.
On Sept. 12, Dewey Parr III passed away unexpectedly.
It only took a few phone calls and e-mail exchanges to decide that he would want us all to continue, rather than postpone the fundraiser.
And so, between today and Sept. 29, we have set a goal of raising $3,000 so that we can kick two of our contestants out of the airplane in a tandem, free-fall jump to honor Dewey and make the AED-in-every-police car a reality.
The two contestants who raise the most money will be our “jumpers.”
If we exceed our $3,000 goal, Russ Lay and Bob Davis will also join the crew in a second jump on the same day.
Our homepage is featuring a link on the right-hand side where you can click to donate.
Or you can go directly to www.myplang.com/kickstartaheart/.
And if you’ve always wanted to skydive but not pulled the trigger, Skydive OBX will donate $20 to the cause for every new jump scheduled in September.
Weather permitting, Sept. 30 is the day our “winners” will exit the airplane.