Flying high for 25 years, with help from Rotary

It was up, up and away, for the campers at Camp Allyn.

For the 25th year, the Rotary Club and Rotary Foundation of Cincinnati provided free hot air balloon rides for children and adults with disabilities at the camp in Batavia.

Rotarians helped the ground crew inflate the balloon, tether it and steady the basket so campers  could leave walkers and wheelchairs behind to soar on the breeze.

“It’s an incredible feeling to see the excitement on their faces as they start to rise,” said Mark Soupene, who chairs the event.
He and his children have volunteered at the balloon rides since 1997.

“It’s become a family tradition. My children grew up seeing the importance of helping other people,” he said.

The Rotary Club of Cincinnati owns Camp Allyn, which is operated by Stepping Stones. It  provides camping, recreation, respite and independence-building experiences for children and adults with disabilities. Rotary introduced the hot air balloon ride to the camp in 1993. The foundation pays for use of the balloon, and Rotarians serve as the volunteer hands.

Click on a thumbnail below to view photo gallery from the event.

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