Hot Air Balloon Festival Raises Money for Upstate Nonprofit

ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) – Rain prevented hot air balloons from flying as part of A hot air affair rising above cancer Sunday, but the weather didn’t completely cool a weekend fundraiser for an upstate nonprofit.

“It’s amazing freedom, it’s peaceful,” says Balloonmeister Roger Clark of what it’s like to be on a hot air balloon flight.

An escape from reality is what Anderson Cancer Association hopes to bring to patients and survivors.

“This event raises awareness because people will come out to see the balloons, but while they’re looking after the balloons and seeing the balloons, they realize it’s for a good cause. Then they start to find out who we are and what we do,” said Angela Stringer, executive director of the Cancer Association of Anderson.

The nonprofit organization helps defray costs for those who live in Anderson County and are battling cancer.

Whether it’s gas to get to appointments, home medical equipment, prescription drugs, and more.

“Cancer hurts your mental health, it hurts your physical health and your financial health. So we’re here to help people, not just financially, but also emotionally,” Stringer explained.

Kim Fischer was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2020.

She is one of more than 6,000 people the Anderson Cancer Society has worked with in 2021.

Fischer now works for the nonprofit.

“The association against cancer has been such an inspiration to me. They were there for me with the mileage. It was just nice to know that someone was on the outside and knew how I felt because you feel so alone when you get diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

But when you’re in a hot air balloon, that’s not the feeling pilots want you to have.

“We want them to feel like I’m not responsible for anything right now. You know, I don’t have to think about my cancer. I can think how cool it is to watch cows at 1,000 feet, or looking at a forest or a river,” Clark said.

There is a higher chance of catching the hot air balloons, depending on the weather.

They are expected to be at the Williamston Civic Center ball diamonds on Monday. September 5 from 6:45 a.m. until approximately 8 a.m.

Melissa C. Keyes