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Edmonton Balloon Club 25th Anniversary Celebration
Nov 21, 1998
at Strathcona Legion, Sherwood Park

Updated: June 18, 2002

Edmonton Balloon Club 1973 - 1998

Welcome to this special edition of POPTALK, a celebration of 25 years of ballooning by the Edmonton Balloon Club. Yes, it has been 25 years from the time a few individuals with a love for the sport got together and formed the club; to the high times when there were 3 club balloons flying regularly with almost a hundred members; and back to a small group of people who still care and are trying to keep the club going.

There have been some fun time, great flights, adventures, many events, rough times, a large number of landowners and best of all, thousands of bottles of champagne consumed. For many who have been part of the club and ballooning it has been a terrific experience and a place where life long friendships have developed. Some friendships have even developed into marrages between club members.

Ballooning is an adventure whether you are flying this large, colorful and sometimes cantankerous bag of hot air, chasing down those roads trying to keep up and figure out where this thing is going while answering a million questions from kids and other drivers, to the landowners, (the majority are great but a few are "interesting");. Time flies by too quickly and the adventure is over.

The club members who have kept this organization thriving and open to anyone with an interest in participating have done a wonderful job on a shoe string budget and thousands of hours of volunteer time. Members have gone on to help in other balloon organizations and have left their footprint in the history of ballooning.

Let’s talk about some of the people, remember the good times and adventures the club has had and most of all, lets keep enjoying ballooning.
Dianne and Alex

WELCOME

Well, here we are, at the silver Anniversary of the Edmonton Balloon Club. We have some, or a little more, silver on our tops as well.

I was looking over the PopTalk from the 10th Anniversary. I was there, as were several of you. I joined the club that year. I had been watching these beautiful balloons go over my house in Sherwood Park, and wondered what it would be like to be "Up Close and Personal" to them. I looked through the Yellow Pages, phoned a couple of places that said to call the Edmonton Balloon Club. I did and was told a great way of getting introduced into ballooning was to be an observer for a little balloon event – Colorfast Cup. Well, fifteen years later, I still think that they are beautiful (my personal opinion: No such thing as an ugly balloon but some just don’t look as good as others.); Crewing and the Edmonton Balloon Club are an important part of my life. I have met many people and made some very close friends.

Over these past years, we have seen varying interest and participation in ballooning. Those who are committed, stay committed in one form or another, whether in active participation or within their own heart. We have gone from a young club where fun, flying and fast times have made way for a gentler, more mature (?) club with a little more emphasis on history, education as well as fun and flying.

Our home is now the Edmonton Aviation Heritage Centre, which houses the Alberta Aviation Museum and also houses "Pop", our first balloon. We are always looking for "Pop" stories. We have participated in several aviation, therefore balloon, awareness events at the Heritage Centre, as well as many school presentations throughout the area. Our main pilots for the last few years, Alex and Marion, have done a remarkable job of flying, thank you, and we are pleased to introduce Don Mclean to the ranks of Club Pilot (just a few more solo hours needed).

Ah, the future … always that uncertain time to plan for …

I hear that to fly you need crew; however, you need to fly to attract crew. A Catch 22. We need more visibility and to educate the interested. In this context, for the weekend of September 10, 11 & 12, 1999, I hope that we, the Edmonton Balloon Community, can host the AFBS Alberta Championship … out of the Municipal Airport. Quite a site, and for a night glow, quite a sight . Think about it, besides all the hard work, what a lot of fun an event can be. And how beautiful the sky becomes when it’s full of balloons.

Kathy Pongar

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November 1998 Issue: Published by Dianne Tomm-Lunty and Alex Nagorski, with copies of material from the 1983 Poptalk and material researched from all Poptalks published.

Awards Made

Celebration Attendees

Pat Richards (Shields) Dianne Tomm-Lunty Kathy Pongar
Husband Richards Doug Lunty John Kerr
Frank Chiovelli Charlie Littlewood Pat Kerr
Ron Yandeau Gwen Littlewood John Bortscher
Joan Yandeau Charlie Littlewoods Daugher Debbie Bortscher
Don Mclean Charlie Littlewoods Son Murray Scholtz
Jill Mclean Sheila Klein Penny Scholtz
Alex Nagorski John Klein Rob Esau
Joy Nagorski Leigh Spicer Stan Wereschuk
Cassie Strumecki Barb Spicer Bella Epp
Frieda Terrant John Cornelius George Epp

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