Sky-high leap of faith
By BREE PRICE
IT WASN'T until Wally Mulgrave and Margaret Graham looked out the open plane door that the reality of what they were about to do hit them.
Wally, a 62-year-old double amputee, and Margaret, a 68year-old grandmother of 11, were about to throw themselves out of a plane at 14,000 feet over Tyagarah, near Byron Bay.
The two Ballina residents had each pledged to tandem skydive to raise money for a new portable barbecue for the East Ballina Lions Club to take to events.
And both were calm until they had to start inching towards the plane door and saw the ground far, far away.
"No heads for heights ? the both of us," Margaret said.
"When you first slide over to the door your heart's beating 90 to the dozen.
"You just freeze and I shut my eyes."
"I can't even walk to a window high up and look down," Wally said.
But both said once they leapt out, it was a thrilling experience.
"It was just awesome. The country side was beautiful," Margaret said.
"When you're relaxed it's beautiful ? it's an experience you wouldn't want to miss.
"I had my eyes open the whole way. I was grimacing at first but once I got levelled out I was good as gold," Wally said.
Both Margaret and Wally raised more than the $1000 they had each planned to raise.
Skydive Byron Bay arranged both dives for half price and Wally, Margaret and the Angel Network of Ballina each received videos and and photos of their dive for free.
The East Ballina Lions Club still needs to raise about $2000 to be able to buy the barbecue.