At 75, McKeesport man's ready to jump out of a plane again
Peter Crnkovic loves the rush of jumping out of a plane.
An avid skydiver as a younger man, he took the leap more than 20 times with friends. Now 75, he hadn't experienced that feeling in two decades.
This fall, an organization dedicated to granting wishes to seniors changed that. The Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Twilight Wish Foundation organized and paid for Crnkovic to take another jump.
“I flew like a bird,” said Crnkovic of McKeesport. “It was really something else.”
The Western Pennsylvania chapter of the national organization covers Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington and Butler counties. It has granted 28 wishes since 2006.
The national headquarters is in Doylestown, with active chapters also in Erie, Georgia, Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Virginia and Illinois. Since the foundation's inception in 2003, chapters have granted more than 1,680 wishes.
Wishes are granted for seniors older than 68 with an income of less than 200 percent of the national poverty level, among other requirements.
Some wishes are simple, such as people who need new, appliances, dentures or hearing aids. Some seniors want to visit their hometown or hold a family reunion. Some want to publish a book or meet a celebrity.
Bonnie Caripolti, coordinator for the local group, has watched many people receive their wishes.
“Regardless of the type or size of the wish, it's a great feeling knowing that you have helped to brighten the life of a local senior,” she said.
All wishes are funded through donations. The local organization received two large gifts this year — $5,000 from members of the Susan Yadamec Dance Company from Greensburg, who donated all proceeds from their spring dance recital; and $500 from Gallagher Home Health Services of Carnegie. To date, the local chapter has spent about $8,000 on wishes.
Crnkovic, a retired mill worker, said he wasn't sure he'd be able to jump again until he was up in the plane. While he used to jump solo, this time he'd go tandem, to avoid injuries.
Once he looked out over the edge, he knew he could do it.
“Where else do you get a feeling like that?” he said.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 1 killed, 4 hurt as police chase ends in Oakland crash
- Pittsburgh police solve fewer homicides
- Pittsburgh settles former police trainee’s disability discrimination lawsuit
- Plum officials reassess equipment policy after sexual assault case
- Allegheny County to increase restaurant penalties
- Venezuela-based fraud ring stole UPMC identities to buy electronics from Amazon, federal indictment says
- Plum teacher’s lawyer says latest allegations don’t measure up
- Duquesne man arrested again for Megan’s Law violations
- Detour signs highlight woes expected in Bigelow and Baum projects in Pittsburgh
- Security cameras, more police planned at Monroeville Mall
- Newsmaker: Sara Mantick