Kathy Grossman Wins 2013 Tandem BASE Jump Contest
Her video made you laugh and tugged your heartstrings, so you gave Kathy Grossman the opportunity of a lifetime.
Kathy\'s video got the most fan votes in the 2013 BASE Jump contest, so she will get to leap tandem alongside the other jumpers on Bridge Day. Subaru will also be donating $1,000 to a charity that\'s dear to her, It Takes a Village Canine Rescue.
"The New River Gorge Bridge is a strong, incredible, beautiful symbol of the area and one of my favorite places to visit," Kathy said. "I never dreamed I would actually be getting to tandem BASE jump off it on Bridge Day!"
While she\'s not a native of West Virginia, she fell in love with the state after a rafting trip on the Gauley. She and her "River Sisters" make a trip each year, bringing new people along to share the wonder they found in the New River Gorge. Kathy moved to West Virginia and lived here for 6 years.
"I may have been born and raised in Indiana, but my heart is in those West Virginia mountains that I have grown to love so much!" she said.
So getting to jump on Bridge Day is nostalgic as well as exciting, although it doesn\'t come without some fear.
"I have to admit that I am terrified, especially standing on the deck right before jumping," she said. "But I think once we get that chute open and float to the bottom of the Gorge, it will be absolutely heavenly."
Braving the bridge jump isn\'t an obstacle for Kathy, though, if it means helping out her charity.
"It Takes a Village Canine Rescue is the motivation for a lot of things I do," she said. She has fostered 24 dogs for ITV in the last 2 years. "We rely on donations, and by entering this contest, I am able to give this charity a large sum of money… Volunteers give so much of their precious time and energy to this cause that I feel this is the least I can do."
The Executive Director of ITV, Tangila Wells, said the money will do a lot to help pay for the vet bills for the dogs. Before adoption, each pup gets spayed or neutered, dewormed and microchipped, and receives vaccinations based on its age. Some need additional care.
"Some of the dogs that we have taken into our rescue have not had the best of care before they came to us," Tanglia said. "Wink was a dog we took from a high kill shelter who was found with an embedded jump rope tied around his neck. It took a couple of surgeries to get him healthy and ready for adoption, and now he is living in his forever home with a great family."
Once, 8 puppies were abandoned on a church step and found their way to ITV.
"They were so tiny and their eyes were not even open," she said. "ITV took them in and called out for immediate help. It was late in the evening, and I went to the Rescue Center to find other volunteers sitting around bottle feeding the babies."
She took 2 home and cared for them until they were about 3 months old. All of the puppies were adopted into permanent homes.
"(ITV) gives a voice to the unwanted, abused and discarded dogs that need us to speak for them," she said.
Will you be watching Kathy take her leap?