As many of you already know, on Friday, August 13th, the category 4 Hurricane Charley hit Florida's west coast with winds of 145 mph. It cut through the state, right through Lake Wales, destroying the Florida Skydiving Center. The US CF Skydiving team was at Florida Skydiving Center, practicing for the upcoming World Championships in Croatia next month, when the hurricane hit. Thank God no one was killed or injured at the drop zone, although we are getting reports now that, so far, 16 people throughout Florida were killed by "Charley".
The past two days, the US team has been there with the owner, Betty Kabeller-Hill and Roger Hill, going through the debris, searching for whatever they can salvage and cleaning up the terrible mess left by this destructive storm. They've had no power in the area for 3 days now and their cell phones are not getting a signal. Raul said the top half of the tower was on the ground. The phone line is working now. Betty said half the hanger is gone. "We've lost everything", she said. She also told me that there is no insurance. Some of the Mobile homes at Florida Skydiving Center were smashed to pieces and some were flipped over. People who lived at the drop zone are now homeless and I guess jobless too.
The Skydiving community has been a family, always helping each other out in times of need. Here is an opportunity for us to reach out and help these people, our family, in their time of suffering and need. We've set up a "Florida Skydiving Center Disaster Fund" and a "FSC Employee Disaster Fund" for the people who lost their homes there. If you can help, please specify on your check or money order, the Disaster Fund you are contributing to and send your donation to Betty's home at:
Florida Skydiving Center
c/o Betty Kabeller-Hill
400 El Camino Drive #203
Winter Haven, FL 33884
If you want to use a bank wire transfer, Florida Skydiving Center already had an account set up for event registrations that you can use. Just specify in the Special Instructions that it is for the Disaster Fund. The account for bank wire transfers is:
Routing # 063000021
Acct. # 2090002569803
Acct. name: Phoenix Air, Inc.
If you have any questions, you can call the Florida Skydiving Center at 863-678-1003. Keep in mind that they are overwhelmed and hard at work trying to clean up.
Anyone who can come out to help in the cleanup efforts, your help will be appreciated.