Everything’s Coming Up Pink!—The Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie

Everything’s Coming Up Pink!—The Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie

A Parachutist Pictorial

Features | December 2018
Saturday, December 1, 2018

Jump for the Rose is a skydiving charity that raises funds for a beautiful facility called the Rose, a nonprofit breast cancer clinic that Dorothy Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo founded in 1986. The Rose helped Marian Sparks, the founder of JFTR, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and had no insurance. Sparks paid it forward by creating a fundraiser to help uninsured women (and men) get help at the Rose.

Now in its ninth year, the Jump for the Rose event at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas, has flourished. The participants at the Jump for The Rose Pinkfest Boogie 2018 enjoyed beautiful blue skies as pink JFTR wind blades from Performance Designs fluttered in the breeze. Gibbons, Melillo and many of the Rose staff attended the event, and some staffers even made tandem skydives. Joe Taylor organized a successful three-point 6-way formation skydive with members of Jumpers Over Seventy, who, in the Pinkfest tradition, wore pink bras. Gulf Coast Regional Director Chuck Akers organized fun jumpers (and even jumped in a pink bra himself), while Jesse Leos organized angle flyers, who flew pink banners. Mike Swearingen put together a group of wingsuit flyers, who built a ribbon-shaped formation in the sky. Camera flyer Norman Kent donated his time and produced great videos and photos of all the festivities.

Local jumper Clark Shores went above and beyond for the cause by securing the donation of a new Jeep Patriot from his boss at Moore Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Silsbee, Texas! The Jeep raffle—won by a woman from Houston—raised more than $30,000 for the Rose. Sparks and Shores wholeheartedly enjoyed making the phone call to the lucky winner. In addition, Adam Buckner of Option Studios designed cool new JFTR T-shirts, which were in high demand. FlySight, Larsen & Brusgaard, the Ratings Center, Skydive Wings, Spaceland Pro Shop, Square One, United Parachute Technologies and Vertical Suits also donated raffle items that, along with donations, netted an additional $10,000-plus for the Rose.

Spaceland staff and volunteers, Art of Skydiving and the JFTR Board of Directors ensured the event was a success. Not counting this year’s proceeds, JFTR has donated more than $157,000 to the Rose. JFTR will announce the final tally from the most recent event in December.

Jump for the Rose will celebrate a decade of the Pinkfest Boogie next year from October 5-6 at Skydive Spaceland–Houston. More information about the cause and the Pinkfest Boogie is available at or by emailing Sparks at


Marian Sparks  | D-29599
Baytown, Texas

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