2012-04-12 / Top News

Lely elementary kids set for balloon fest field trip


The entire second grade at Lely Elementary School will get a preview of the “Balloons Over Paradise” festival on a field trip to the event’s education day on Friday, April 13, before the public weekend activities. Several of the 30 participating balloons will be inflated for the 135 students to view as they talk with the “balloonmeister,” other pilots and a weatherman.

“We are excited that one of our schools can have this amazing opportunity to learn about the science and art of hot air ballooning,” says Karen Conley, president and CEO of Charity for Change, one of the balloon festival’s charity beneficiaries. Charity for Change runs the School “Giver” Program character development and philanthropy initiative in five schools, including Lely.

Bob Carlton, the balloon race organizer affectionately called the “balloonmeister,” has been flying balloons worldwide since 1976 and is one of the most experienced pilots in Florida. From 1978-80, he flew the Budweiser, Black Angus and Westinghouse balloons for World Balloon Corp. in Albuquerque, N.M. Then he moved to Tampa to work for Sport Balloons and head a repair station, flying the Tampa Tribune and Freedom Savings bank balloons. Since 1986, he has flown notable balloons for Walt Disney World, including Mickey, Donald, Cinderella’s Castle and Spaceship Earth.

Michael Mogil of Naples is a certified consulting meteorologist and owner of How the Weatherworks, which provides educational weather services to teachers and students from preschool through adulthood. He has authored/co-authored several books about weather and weather experiments, as well as a comprehensive teacher’s guide for using the newspaper to study weather in the classroom. ¦

‘Fit & Fuel 50’ cyclists will ride for Youth Haven

More than 250 bicyclists are expected to pedal in the “Fit & Fuel 50” to raise funds for Youth Haven on Sunday, April 22. Held in connection with National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the USA Cycling event is a fully supported ride, with course maps, cue sheets, support vehicles and bike mechanics along the route.

Cyclists can choose the “High Octane” 50- mile ride to Fort Myers Beach, the “Half-Caff” 20-mile ride to Bonita Beach of the family-friendly “Espresso” short course through Pelican Bay.

Registration for $35 includes light breakfast fare before and lunch after the ride. Sign up at www.usacycling.org (search for the race under Events). Or contact Naples Cyclery by calling 566-0600 or e-mailing peter@naplescyclery.com for more information.

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