As quickly as it was here, the Great Texas Balloon Race is over in Gregg County. It was the last day of target scoring for pilots, and their last chance to try for the $10,000 prize for tossing the ring on the center poll. This year no one made it.
The event director this year was KLTV-Longview sales manager Barbara Smith, who says the long volunteer hours made the event a success.
Twenty-five pilots finished in the money as the annual payoff was held at the pilots' awards ceremonies. At the traditional farewell breakfast, pilots collected their rewards for overall target scoring. Prizes ranged from $300 to $5,000. The top scorer this year was Chase Donnor of Kentucky.
A special award was also given to Jan maynard, of Hands On A Hardbody fame, for her volunteer efforts. One of KLTV's own was recognized Sunday. General manager Brad Streit was given the Tom Southern Leadership Award, in recognition of his efforts to help make the balloon race grow. Southern, who died in a plane crash two years ago, is credited with organizing the original balloon race. The award was a surprise, but Streit gives the credit to others he works with.