Great Texas Balloon Race Ends

As the skies over Gregg county were filled with balloons for the final, the end of the three day event has created memories that many visitors will take with them. The Gauthier brothers who held a family reunion of sorts, with four of them flying in the race.

"We have had a ball we really have enjoyed it and we hope to do this more often" said pilot and elder brother Guy Gauthier.

"I had my best flight ever this morning it was awesome, I'm not only thinking about coming back next year I'm just thinking of moving here staying here" said Marty Gauthier of Michigan.

The race also was marked by the NASA dedication ceremony and tether rides for disabled children and the make a wish kids. Pilot Wil Lapointe who won 12-thousand dollars in the key grab, promptly donated $1200.00 back to the Make A Wish Foundation.

"We've had a lot of folks make a lot of memories this weekend" said 2004 Event Chairman, John Green.

The Tom Southern award, named after the past chairman who died in a tragic plane crash, was given to a man who had worked endlessly to help build the event, and emotional judge Bill Stoudt. And there is another year to look forward to as KLTV's own Barbara Smith was selected as next years chairman.

"I accept this position because I know there's a lot of support form the board and volunteers," said Smith. Organizers estimate they had over 88-thousand dollars in revenue from this years event.

Bob Hallmark reporting.