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jrpraeter

Richmond... THE Boogie, A Note from Jaime

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Words cannot express mine and my family's, sincere appreciation and gratitude at everyone that reached out of our skydiving community to comfort our family during our time of pain and loss. It is unfathomable the amount of people that my Mom was able to touch so deeply, and to me how to imagine that she is gone and how I will live my life without her and her guidance.
So many people during this time have asked us what they could do and after so many times being asked this question my only response is to say, "please honor my Mother".

She was the megaphone for the skydiving community for over 35 years to the FAA, PIA, and USPA. Ensuring that all things were equal, and all things were in the best interest of the individual skydiver as well as the skydiving industry. Her life was dedicated to you, each one of you... honestly.

She organized the world's second largest skydiving event, second only to WFFC. She did this while running one of the most successful northern skydiving centers in the country and successfully raising five kids and adding one more along the way embracing him as if he were her own. She took us everywhere with her.

In later years of her life she wasn't always seen at the DZ, busy working in her flower beds, playing with her grandchildren and enjoying the time so deserved that she unknowingly had so little of. Nevertheless, Mom was always there with an idea. How to retain first jump students and turn them into skydivers, how to make the boogie just a little more entertaining, how to more efficiently operate a skydiving center, the list goes on and on.

I was just telling someone the other day. My first phone call in the morning was my Mom, and last one before I went to bed. During the day you could count on at least three small calls, or large depending on the available time either one of us had. She is my hero, and my whole life. As I grew older, my relationship with her more precious, with love that only my mother could give. Imagine how busy this alone made her, and realize that she did this for each of her children.

In this horrible time right now, as I sit typing this to all of you, I can only express my innermost desire to honor her and her life. I want to shout out at the mountain tops that this woman was my Mother and she made mine and your life better. I want everyone to know how much personal time and effort she put into making the sport of skydiving a better and safer place to be. I want people to know that no matter how horrible someone treated her, she would always have nice things to say about you, even if I didn't.

Everyone keeps asking... "What can I do?". I will say this again, please honor my Mother.

Many people have been questioning whether or not we would go through with Mom's boogie.Twenty years ago, two Fridays from now, Mom and Dad embarked on a journey that would open the mid-west to the world and bring people together year after year.

Richmond "THE" Boogie 2007 is the milestone that we were gearing up for. Mom and I have been excited about this since last year. This boogie is hers, and is in her memory. She wanted nothing more than it to be a success. Even after a few terrible rain years (03 & 06), she kept persevering and telling me that those that came to our boogie made it all worth it, that we had to keep the ball rolling for them.

Over the past week I have seen people long since out of skydiving as well as very new and fresh babies, coming to us and caring for us. I have told them each that Mom would have wanted them to come and join us for her this year. Jumping is not required. (Come on guys... she had never even made one skydive).

What was most important to my mother was family, anyone that met her felt her mother's love touch them. Come and help us make Mom's boogie the success she always aspired for it to be, one big family reunion.



Thank you again for your kind words and love, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Jaime

On Behalf of:

Dad Steve, Dad Jim, Jason & Emily, Stew & Emily, Eric & Kelli, Amy, Jaime & Jonny (and "the Kids")

Jaime Praeter
Skydive Wayne County, Inc.
765.965.0435 PH
765.965.0436 FX
www.skydiverichmond.com

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Hello Jaime,

You would probably remember me if we met in person. I know your brother John pretty well and have seen you at the Richmond boogies.

You wrote a beautiful letter. Full of honor to your mother. The respect & admiration you have for her shines clear. I'm sure she loved you dearly. Your letter made me think of my mother, who I love so much. I look up to her & hope to retain the qualities she has. I hope that I would grow and become a symbol of her strength for my brothers & sister to look to for encouragement if we should ever lose her. Your mother's legacy can live through you & your life. You can be the symbol & rock for your family to turn too. The skydiving community can enjoy the things your mother created, and you can keep the dream alive!

Best Wishes & Blue Skies to you & your family,

Olivia

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