The crazy things we do for a good cause

421232_3675080282493_382257809_nWhy would anyone in their right mind jump out of a perfectly good airplane? “Well, I’m doing it to help kids,” said Brent Coggins, engineering technician in the District 2 Office in Mason City. “The June 22 jump is called “The Sky is the Limit 2014,” and it benefits the RT Autism Awareness Foundation in Rochester, Minn., where I live.”

This isn’t Brent’s first time staring peril in the face for a good cause. “I jumped twice two years ago for the same charity. At that time, I raised $800. I’m hoping to do better than that this year,” he said. “I’ve also been involved with the juvenile diabetes foundation for 15 years and I’m a magician on the side. I do kid’s charity shows like Ronald McDonald House and the hospital in Rochester, to name a few.”

417296_3675080002486_892282860_nBrent, who was diagnosed with a learning disability as he graduated high school, has a soft spot in his heart for kids with challenges. “It was not easy for me as a kid. I was teased a lot. So I do whatever I can to help kids, to make it easier for them,” he said. 

Brent is inviting his co-workers and friends to join him in supporting the RT Autism Foundation. “The plane holds up to 20 people with jumps occurring from morning to night,” he said with a smile. “This is a tandem jump. An experienced person jumps with you and they provide training before you go up. Participants will jump at 18,000 feet and free fall of about a minute. At 6,000 feet, you pull the parachute open. But if you forget, the person with you will pull it for you.”

Each jump costs $350, which covers the cost of the jump and is the fundraising minimum. For more information, go to Brent’s fundraising Web page at


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