100 Perfect Jumps for Parkinson Disease: MN Man Takes to Skies to Raise Awareness & Funds 100 Skydives in 1 Day Will Be Wisconsin Record

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Kevin Burkart will be a very busy man on Wednesday, June 4. In order to make his goal of 100 sky dives in one day, he will have to jump every six to eight minutes for 10 to 12 hours. By the time he completes the jumps, he will have set a Wisconsin state record for the most skydives done in one day and he hopes to have raised $40,000 for Parkinson disease (PD) research. He has raised $35,000 thus far.

How many people get to do something they love for someone they love?

Kevin Burkart will be a very busy man on Wednesday, June 4. In order to make his goal of 100 sky dives in one day, he will have to jump every six to eight minutes for 10 to 12 hours. By the time he completes the jumps, he will have set a Wisconsin state record for the most skydives done in one day and he hopes to have raised $40,000 for Parkinson disease (PD) research. He has raised $35,000 thus far.

Parkinson disease is the second-most common progressive neurodegenerative disease, affecting more than one million Americans. Primary signs of the disease include tremors, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement and poor balance. Kevin's father, Gary Burkart of Shell Lake, WI, was diagnosed with PD in July 1999, and since that day, Kevin has been helping any way he can. "The sky is the limit when it comes to my dad!" he said. "How many people get to do something they love for someone they love?"

The record-setting jumps will take place at SkyDive Twin Cities in Baldwin, WI. Kevin has made many of his nearly 700 skydives there. The day's events will begin at 6 a.m. and finish around 8 p.m. Everyone is invited to the "drop zone" to watch this historic free event. There will be refreshments and activities for the kids.

Each jump will be done in memory or in honor of someone affected by Parkinson disease. For a contribution of $100 or more, donors can still dedicate a jump. On Wednesday, before each jump Kevin makes, a name will be read over the public address system, followed by a brief anecdote about how PD impacted that person's life. After the event, donors will receive a signed photo of Kevin skydiving.

John Bucsko, one of the owners of the Skydive Twin Cities drop zone, is very enthusiastic about the fundraiser. He said, "This is a terrific event that will raise money and awareness for Parkinson disease. And everyone at the drop zone is excited to participate and be a part of the event. There's been a lot of energy generated as a result of the cause and everyone wants to do their share to help."

All net proceeds from the event will be divided between the Parkinson Association of Minnesota and the National Parkinson Foundation. More information about these organizations can be found at http://www.parkinsonmn.org and http://www.parkinson.org.

To learn more about The 100 Perfect Jumps for Parkinson Disease or to make a donation, visit http://www.perfectjumps.com . Photos and video of Kevin skydiving are available at http://www.perfectjumps.com/downloads.

Backgrounder

Kevin Burkart is 37 years old. He is the President and owner of StepStoneGroup, Inc., a creative agency based in Savage, Minnesota providing graphic design, web development, marketing and promotional services.

In 2006, Kevin placed 7th at US Nationals, competing with a 4-way formation team called "Fast Forward." The team won the Open Division of the Northern Plains Skydiving League that same year.

For the event, Kevin will use 2 planes, 6 skydiving rigs, 6 parachute packers and a host of logistical volunteers that will assist with ground crew duties. He will exit each plane ride at approximately 2500 feet doing a jump every 6-8 minutes for 10-12 hours.

In addition to skydiving, Kevin also enjoys water-skiing, is an active member of the Shockwaves Water Ski Show team, and he's also a SCUBA instructor.

Kevin served on the board of the Parkinson Association of Minnesota from 2005 to 2007 and is taking this year off to focus on The 100 Perfect Jumps for Parkinson Disease project.

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