Cancer Association of Anderson Hot Air Affair bring balloons back to area

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By Stan Welch
Friday, September 3, kicks off the Labor Day weekend. It also kicks off the 2nd Annual Hot Air Affair – Rising Above Cancer, a fun weekend of fund-raising for the Cancer Association of Anderson.
Friday night, around 5:30 p.m., more than two dozen hot air balloons will lift off in the Tri-cities area. As darkness approaches, the balloons will be illuminated in an event called a glow. Using the area behind the Williamston Municipal Center as ground zero, the event organizers will have food vendors and a kids zone, with bounce houses and other attractions. There will also be a radio controlled airplane display and demonstration Friday.
There will be both tethered rides and actual balloon flights available, at a cost. There will also be a blood drive on Friday with each donor receiving a ten dollar gift card, and the Cancer Association receiving a ten dollar donation. The balloon flights and glow will be repeated on Saturday, with the remainder of the events moving to the traditional balloon launch site at the Anderson Convention Center on Sunday.
Friday morning, out at ACTC, some pilots will be on hand to offer rides to the media, as well as to some of Cancer Association’s clients. “This is on some people’s bucket lists and we enjoy taking them up. For a lot of them, it takes their minds off some of the ordeals they go through daily, like treatments and chemo and such,” said Ryan Hulon, director of the Association. Hulon regretted that the FAA had denied permits for the special forces jump team . “Their staff is currently so depleted by COVID that they simply can’t process the various requests and applications that they receive.
“The Hot Air Affair: Rising Above Cancer is about spreading awareness of the Hope and Support offered by the Cancer Association of Anderson,” said Director Angela Stringer. “Every year, we give a few of our patients the opportunity to take a flight or tether. It may be a ‘bucket list’ wish of just the chance to take their minds off cancer, even if it is just for a few peaceful moments. When I think of Hot Air Balloons I think of freedom, of rising above our problems and all the obstacles that may arise – this means even more to someone who is battling cancer! Please come out and support this very worthwhile event.”
In addition to the hot air balloons, organizers have scheduled a Kids Zone, Track-less Train, RC Plane Display, and Food Trucks to be onsite. Special thanks to the Town of Williamston as our title sponsor! Also sponsoring the event, Blossman Propane, Anderson County, the Town of Pelzer, and many others.
“Your patronage lets us know the public wants this event to continue and grow every year,” Stringer said. “You will not only enjoy a spectacular view of some beautiful hot air balloons, but you will be helping the Cancer Association of Anderson accomplish our mission to lessen the burden of cancer on LOCAL cancer patients AND give a few patients a unique opportunity to RISE ABOVE CANCER.”

Pelzer, West Pelzer and Williamston are all sponsoring the event, along with Blossman Gas, Anderson County and Paragon Hotels.
For up-to-date information and schedules, visit www.CAAnderson.org or www.Facebook.com/HotAirAffair. As with all hot air balloon events, flights and glows are very much weather dependent, so please check for updates.