Generations of Big Jumpers Take to the Skies

Big Jump is one of ESP’s most anticipated Big 3 events that play a vital role in sending kids of all abilities to summer camp. It’s an event that has it all; fast-paced thrills, family-friendly activities, great food and an atmosphere permeating with the love and support of a whole community.

One of the highlights of Big Jump is the brave skydivers who spend months raising money and gearing up to jump out of a plane for ESP. There are a lot of reasons why people choose to become jumpers; some have always wanted to skydive and finally have the chance to check it off of their bucket list. Some have been ESPers for a long time and want to give back in a grand fashion. Some just want to try something new and exciting.

For Laura Graben, Java Joy & Corporate Partner Coordinator, what started as a solo jump became the family affair of a lifetime.

2 Generations of Jumpers

For Laura Graben, Java Joy & Corporate Partner Coordinator, what started as a solo jump became the family affair of a lifetime.

Before Graben was a full-time staff member, she was a freshman at the University of Georgia looking for ways to get involved. Like many who have fallen in love with ESP before her, she volunteered throughout her undergraduate career and continued to become more involved.

After an internship with Jake and the Java Joy team, Graben is now in charge of keeping Java Joy running smoothly! She’s also finishing up her masters in Public Administration. On the eve of her graduation, she originally had no intention of taking the plunge at Big Jump.

“My graduation is the day before Big Jump, so of course, I invited my whole family to come out for the event,” said Graben. “When I did, my grandad said ‘hmm, I may want to jump!’ And I said, ‘Well, if you do, I will too!’ And here we are…”

Coy Graben, Laura’s grandfather, will be traveling all the way from Alabama to support his granddaughter and jump out of a plane for ESP.




The GRABEN Gang

For anyone who knows Laura and Coy Graben, it’s easy to see how the two would make a great skydiving pair.

“My grandad and I make a great Big Jump team because not only are we family, but we’re great friends,” she said.  “We are both very adventurous, so it is not unlike us to sign up for something like this; especially when it benefits our favorite organization.”

As one of Laura’s greatest supporters in life and in the skies, Coy is helping his granddaughter raise enough money to support the cost of not one, but two campers’ weeks of ESP Summer Camp.  Working everyday with the joyristas, Graben knows what a special time of year camp is for each of ESP’s participants. She’s excited to be a part of keeping costs low for every family.

With Big Jump just around the corner, Coy will also help keep Laura’s nerves at bay as a first-time skydiver.

“I still haven’t decided if I’m scared [to jump],” she explained. “Right now, I’m excited, but I know when I get there day of, I’m going to be like ‘oh now what are we doing?’”

But if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s the Graben Gang. We are so excited to see this pair take to the skies on Saturday, May 11. Click here to contribute to the Graben Gang’s fundraising efforts and help keep costs low for families this summer at camp. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the biggest event of the spring!

About The Author

Haley Lacuesta

Haley is a fourth year International Affairs & Public Relations double major at the University of Georgia.

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