Re/Max Hot Air Balloon goes to St. Jane in Bethesda
Have you ever gone up in a hot air balloon? Hot air ballooning is the oldest form of aviation. It began over 200 years ago when a French scientist named Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier famously sent up a balloon carrying a duck, a sheep and a cockerel.
Last Tuesday, June 5th, I gave my daughter an unforgettable surprise. It was one of the last days of the school year. I decided to bring one of the legendary RE/MAX Hot Air Balloons to my daughters school, St. Jane Francis de Chantal in Bethesda. The RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon is one of the most widely recognized corporate symbols in the world.
I called the owner of the balloon and he and I organized an event for the school. We introduced ballooning to the school classes one at a time. The event was presented at 8:00 AM on the school grounds. School kids from kindergarten to 7th grade witnessed how the 70 ft. tall RE/MAX hot air balloon inflated, how the controls worked and how the pilot releases the air and gets it on the ground again. Not everyone gets the opportunity to see a hot air balloon up close like we did.
While it was on the ground. Kevin Poppelman, the balloon owner was the pilot that day. He educated the students about various aspects of ballooning. He talked about ballooning history, it’s scientific principles and demonstrated how the balloon functions.
FAA wouldn’t allow the balloon to lift off because of some restrictions being so close to Washington DC. In spite of that, we had a great time and had fun spending the morning with the kids and the teachers.
For Allison, it was truly an experience that she won’t soon forget. She was the star that day and I am so proud of her.