Havasu Balloon Festival’s $150K in profits help Teen Break, ASU Havasu
Havasu Balloon Festival organizers met with sponsors and representatives from local nonprofit organizations Wednesday morning to award more than $150,000 in proceeds from this year’s event at Pima Wash.
Dozens of Havasu organizations including Arizona State University, the Lake Havasu City Veterans Treatment Court, the Lake Havasu City Historical Society, Teen Break were named as recipients of the Balloonfest’s earnings this year, and will receive donations from each of the event’s participating clubs.
The London Bridge Lions, Daybreakers Lions, London Bridge Rotary, Lake Havasu City Rotary and Sunrise Rotary Clubs each received $30,000 of the event’s proceeds last week, to be donated to nonprofit organizations of their choice. While windy weather may have kept some of the event’s participants and recipients away, balloon festival organizer Marquita McKnight said Wednesday’s gathering ended a ninth year of success for the event.
“I feel good,” McKnight said. “All of the recipients are extremely appreciative of our efforts. This is such a great event for the community, and it’s helped the economy – people who came here for the event filled hotel beds, they’ve gone out to eat, and they pumped money into the community. It was a win-win for Havasu.”
This year the festival saw 24,000 attendees, bringing a surge of activity to Lake Havasu City businesses. As the event continues to grow, annual proceeds could grow as well.
“We all have various charitable organizations the different clubs give to,” said London Bridge Rotary Club President Don Klostermeier. “Life is about giving back, and that’s the reason I got into Rotary. Whatever we can do to give back to people and help out, we’re all over it, and to see the results … it’s incredible. It goes on and on – (the balloon festival) touches about every charitable organization in Havasu.”
In the past nine years, the Havasu Balloon Festival has raised $953,100 for local charities. McKnight expects that number to surpass $1 million after next year’s balloon festival.