Skydiving to Help Abused Children in Benton County

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People were jumping out of planes into the skies of Northwest Arkansas for a good cause Sunday. It was the 3rd annual Skydive for Kids event, raising money for the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County.

This year the event had 47 jumpers who raised around $25,000. 

Erin Kraner, a forensic interviewer for the Children's Advocacy Center, took the leap raising close to $850.

"I don't consider myself good at fundraising, but I don't know what happened, people are in the giving spirit," Kraner said.

Nate Atchison prepared to overcome his fear as the plane got ready for takeoff. His wife Bonnie is a deputy prosecutor in Benton County.

"I hear the stories that she tells about the children and the hardships that they go through, so anything I can do to help them and to help her," Nate Atchison said.

Each leap raises awareness of child abuse.

"It's happening right next door to them in their own neighborhood, then we can come together to solve the problem," said Emily Rappe, director of development at the center.

The money raised will help hundreds of children who receive help through the center.

"When you think about what he child has to go through and how scared they are when they disclose information to us, we kind of get the same feeling by jumping off of a plane," Rappe said.

Kraner and Atchinson glided through the sky at the Skyranch in Siloam Springs. Landing safely and filled with excitement, they took the risk for the children who suffer in Benton County.

"It was amazing, absolutely life changing. It was great," Kraner said.

"It was unbelievable. I've done a lot of crazy things in my life and that is definitely the number one right now," Atchison said.

Kraner said after watching other jumpers for the past two years she decided to take the leap of faith this time around.

"It definitely gives you a lot of motivation to do what you do, so it's fantastic," Kraner said.

Last year, the center averaged 52 cases a month. This May, they averaged 83 cases, and the number of cases is rising, center officials said.