Balloon Rally and Music Festival may be no more - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Balloon Rally and Music Festival may be no more


WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW)--A big fundraiser that's meant to be big fun appears to have come to an end. The Balloon Rally and Music Festival in Wisconsin Rapids raised money for the Children's Miracle Network at Ministry St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

Organizers say it was successful for many years, but they just don't have the volunteers they need.

More than a decade of balloons and donations appear to be coming to an end. Organizers say it has helped raise more than $180,000 for their cause.

"Some of those event organizers have had to back off in the amount of time that they put into the event and it's hard to replace that type of dedication," Patti Shafto-Carlson with the Children's Miracle Network said.

Organizers say CMN and the Balloon Rally were a natural fit.

"The hot air balloon is the logo for Children's Miracle Network, so it was a great tie in with the two organizations," Shafto-Carlson said.

Leaders from CMN say they are thankful the event has been such a success in the past, and that they are glad it ended on a high note last year.

"We had over 11,000 people attend the event and it raised about $26,000 for Children's Miracle Network. So it was a great way to end this wonderful era," Shafto-Carlson said.

Miracle Network employees say in the event someone does step forward, many things would have to fall into place for it to continue.

They say because the event requires six to eight months of planning, it would be unlikely that the Balloon Rally would happen this summer.

But organizers say they are glad the event was a success for so long.

"Those funds over the years have done amazing things to help kids right here at Ministry St. Joseph's Hospital as well as throughout the community," Shafto-Carlson said.

Organizers say they will continue to find more way to help raise money for Children's Miracle Network.

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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