Illinois balloon provides rides to people of all abilities
Jul. 17, 2017
DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A handicapped-accessible hot air balloon provided tethered rides to people of all ages and abilities at a recent Illinois festival.
The balloon called Glory Be was piloted by Tony Sandlin, of Indiana, and sponsored by Richard Woodard at the second annual Balloons Over Vermilion festival, held Friday and Saturday at the Vermilion Regional Airport, The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2vuBKdm ) reported.
Glory Be gained popularity last year with its unique basket that can accommodate a wheel chair and allows riders to sit and look out through a glass door. Sandlin, the owner and operator of Midwest Balloon Rides, brought two of the special balloons to this year's festival to provide more rides.
Sandlin of Indiana said 184 people waited to take a ride in the balloons Friday after high winds caused a delay from the evening's mass launch.
At the event, Kylar Pollard, 11, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler and can't walk, was given the opportunity to fly in Glory Be.
"He had a blast," said Joe Pollard, the boy's father. "He just smiled the whole way."
Jennifer Pollard, the boy's mother, said her son doesn't let his disability hold him back from doing "typical boy things."
"He loves playing cars and trucks. He loves dirt and mud. And he loves playing baseball and watching the Cubs. He inherited that from his dad," she said.
This is the second year Sandlin and Woodard provided a ride to a local child with a disability.
Woodard said he's pleased "just helping people do something they might not normally do."
Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com