“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, then would you jump too ?” our parents always asked us. At the time, we knew that the response that kept us out of more trouble was always ‘No’. But, today, adventurer Erin Bonilla is saying,” Hell, yeah—sign me up!” This blonde adventurer wants to do a tandem base jump off of the 876-foot New River Gorge Bridge! To give you some perspective, this is more than 200 feet higher than the Seattle’s Space Needle (605 feet) and the St. Louis Arch (630 feet).
So, why does Bonilla want to take the leap in front of the expected 80,000 spectators of Bridge Day 2013? Well, if jumping off of a bridge wasn’t crazy enough, she is building towards her goal to skydive in space. Yes, you read that right: Skydive. In Space. Remember Felix Baumgartner’s historic 24-mile, Red Bull-sponsored space skydive in October 2012? Erin has met the Austrian daredevil, as well as the first man to skydive from the edge of space in 1960, Col. Joe Kittinger, USAF (Ret.). Both space-dive pioneers advised her to continue striving towards this (literally) out-of-this-world goal…and she’s obviously heeding that advice.
The journey to space skydiving began with Bonilla leaping out of a plane 36 times (!) and attaining her Class-A skydiving license. She hopes to take the next step on October 19 with her very first base jump in Fayetteville, West Virginia. If Bonilla wins the opportunity to jump, Subaru will donate $1,000 to her charity of choice, the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. The organization was created by a friend of hers, who lost his daughter to the disease.
Check out Bonilla’s video entry into the base jumping contest. If you like what you see, vote to send her base jumping and get $1,000 to a deserving charity. Then, write down the name “Erin Bonilla”—you can say that you knew her when. Oh, and sorry fellas…the coolest chick you don’t know is taken–he (Dennis) put a ring on it.
Abbie Elliot is a senior contributor for MCM and a writer for ‘Under the Tuscan Gun, part of “The Cooking Channel’s “Extra Virgin” with actress Debi Mazar (Entourage’s Shauna Roberts) and husband Gabriele Corcos. She has served as managing editor for ‘DC on Heels’, and has written professionally for organizations like The White House Commission on Remembrance and AOL/The Huffington Post. Follow her on twitter: @abbie_b_elliott or email email@example.com