2013 U.S. BANK GREAT MIDWEST BALLOON FEST ANNOUNCES $10,000 CHARITY BALLOON RACE

Hare & Hound Race will Net One Local Non-Profit a $10,000 Grand Prize and Offer Additional Fundraising Opportunities to Thirty Organizations

KANSAS CITY, MO - Organizers of the U.S. Bank Great Midwest Balloon Festival, scheduled forAugust 9-10 in Olathe, are offering local charities the opportunity to take to the sky in pursuit of a $10,000 prize.

The first ever Fox and Hound Charity Balloon Racewill take place on Friday, August 9th at 6:30 pm. when a balloon deemed the “hare” will lift off at the festival. Serving as the “hounds,” a maximum of 30 professionally piloted balloons, each representing a local charity, will then follow, in pursuit of the hare. While aloft, the “hare” balloon will drop a large target onto the competition field. The “hound” balloons will then take turns dropping a marker from the air onto the target below. The balloon with the marker that lands closest to the target will win the grand prize of $10,000 for their charity. Balloons placing 2nd and 3rd will win $3500 and $1500 respectively for their charities. A random drawing to determine pairings of charities and balloonists will take place prior to the race.

Interested, non-profit, 501 (c) (3), organizations must complete an application and agree to sell a minimum of 100 advance adult tickets to the festival ($10 each) or secure a sponsor or underwriter. Those wishing to raise additional funds will earn $5 for every ticket sold beyond the required 100. There is no limit to the number of tickets that may be sold, and the charity with the highest number of tickets sold, will be awarded an additional $1,000 from the Festival Board.

General tickets, $10/adult and $5/children, will go on sale to the public on July 1 at all area HyVee locations. ­Participation is limited to 30 non profits so organizations are encouraged to apply now by downloading an application at www.midwestballoonfest.org/CharityChallenge.aspx

“This event has the potential to provide 30 area non-profit organizations with much needed funds,” Robbie Small, festival coordinator, said. “We are particularly thrilled that smaller non-profits, who do great work in our community, but don’t have extensive fundraising capabilities, will have equal opportunity to benefit from ticket sales and the charity balloon race.”

Drawing nearly 50,000 fans over three days, the 3rd Annual US Bank Great Midwest Balloon Fest will feature 60 balloons, including fabulous special shape and corporate balloons from across the country, balloon glows and competitions, children’s activities, balloon rides, special Friday and Saturday night concerts and a Saturday morning 5k/10k “Race With the Balloons” that will coincide with the morning balloon competitions.

The festival is conveniently located on the grounds of the Great Mall of the Great Plains, at approximately I-35 and 151st Street in Olathe. Single-day, discounted adult tickets may be purchased for $10 each from participating charities listed on the festival website, www.MidwestBalloonFest.org. Tickets for kids 5-12 are $5, and kids 5 and under are FREE. All balloon activities are subject to weather permitting. Parking is FREE.

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