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Out of a plane for good cause
Bay of Plenty Times, Tauranga Bay of Plenty  by Sonya Bateson
17 Apr 2017
General News - page 16 - 318 words - ID 759158565 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 157.00cm2

ONE week ago today I was dropped out of a plane. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and it was for a good cause - raising funds for the worthy Graeme Dingle Foundation.

I've never been one to shy away from a challenge and this was a good one.

Every year the foundation runs a challenge called Drop Your Boss, which usually sees business leaders from around the Bay abseiling down a multistorey building.

But this year the usual building was unavailable so Graeme Dingle Foundation regional manager Dan AllenGordon lined up Tauranga Tandem Skydiving to drop people 3000m from a plane.

So on Monday I turned up at the hangar, strapped myself into a (really attractive) jumpsuit and, together with my jumpbuddy Pat Taylor from Rotary Club of Tauranga Sunrise, squashed myself into a plane with our tandem jumpers and up we flew into the skies above Tauranga.

Not for one moment was I nervous. The view over the Mount was gorgeous and, when we rose high enough, we broke through the clouds into bright sunshine, which hadn't been seen from the ground in days.

My tandem partner cracked open the door and out we jumped.

It was exhilarating. I had a crazy grin on my face the entire time and, when we landed, I wanted to get straight back into the plane and have another go.

And it was well worth the fun.

All 20 of the bosses who took part, including Lain Jager from Zespri, Helen Mason from the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Vicky Barnett from Z Energy, Nikki Luli from Sanford and Mark Wynne from Balance Agri-Nutrients, have raised a combined $29,120 for the foundation. What a cool way to make a serious amount of cash for a charity that does so much for Bay children.

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EXHILARATING: Sonya Bateson ready for her tandem jump. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

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