Balloon launch benefits Rotary, TRMC ER

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Troy Rotary Club and the Pike Medical Foundation have partnered in a Balloon Launch fundraising effort to benefit Troy Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

Karen Herring, Troy Regional Medical Center community relations’ director, said the idea behind Balloon Launch 2014 is to raise money for several needs within the emergency department.

“The balloon launch was the brain child of Keith Roling, who is the president of the Troy Rotary Club,” Herring said. “He was interested in the Rotary Club doing a fundraiser for TRMC.

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“The Pike Medical Foundation was organized about 25 years ago, when the hospital belonged to the City of Troy. The PFM was re-organized two years ago with the purpose of raising funds for certain projects at the hospital. The PMF had a very successful Silver Supper event in October 2013.

“We didn’t want to have two fundraising events for the hospital in October, so the PMF and the Troy Rotary Club combined their efforts into one fundraising, fun event – Balloon Launch 2014.”

The Rotarians and the members of the PMF are selling balloons for $100 each. The tickets are available at TRMC or by calling 334-670 5487. Tickets are also available from any member of the Troy Rotary Club and the PMF.

The Balloon Launch is set for Thursday, Oct. 23 from the TRMC campus.

“We’ll launch to balloons around dusk and each of the helium-filled balloons will be tagged with a number so they may be tracked wherever they go,” Herring said.

The balloons will be tracked by WTBF-Radio and The Messenger.

WTBF will announce each time a balloon is found and the number is called in to the station. The Messenger will publish photos of those who find the balloons on its Facebook page and in the print edition of the newspaper.

“We’ll track the balloons for 10 days and the tag holder of the balloon that travels the greatest distance from Troy will win $1,000,” Herring said. “The person who finds the winning balloon will receive a $100 cash prize.”

Herring said the last time the Troy Rotary Club sponsored a balloon launch, the winning balloon was found in Canada.

“If the balloons catch a jet stream, they can go a great distance,” she said. “So, we have no idea where these balloons will be found but it will be fun tracking them for 10 days.”

The Balloon Launch on Oct. 23 will be a festive event featuring tethered hot air balloon rides from 3 until 5 p.m.

“The tethered hot air balloon rides will be by donation and the funds raised will support the fundraising efforts for the TRMC emergency department,” Herring said.

The estimated cost of the renovation project is $20,000 and will include better patient flow and privacy, increase security for the admission staff, new furniture in the area and new lock-down measures for the area.

To report a balloon to The Messenger, call 334-566-4270 or email or tag Troy Messenger in your Facebook post.