Virtual balloon contest takes flight
WHEN is a balloon not a balloon?
The fundraising team at East Cheshire Hospice have come up with an answer to that question which they hope will raise thousands of pounds for the hospice patients and carers.
In this 21st century race, the balloons exist only in cyber-space – within a software programme that uses real weather data and Google maps for real-time flight path tracking, testing the balloon calculations to see which flies the furthest.
“Where the balloon flies to will depend on the real weather conditions during that race week and whoever has the balloon that flies the furthest from the hospice wins a prize – all calculated by the computer,” said Leah Goodhind, community fundraiser.
Balloons are available to buy online for just £3 and can be personalised by choosing the size, shape and even the thickness of the rubber and it’s these choices which will inform the computer calculations – bigger balloons may fly further but could explode while thinner balloons may fly higher but may be subject to wind conditions. This virtual racing is a new phenomenon and balloons have been launched all over the world with tracking by some 8,000 weather stations.
“We thought it was a quirky, unique and environmentally friendly way to raise much-needed funds for the hospice,” said Leah.
The three balloons to fly furthest will win prizes, with the owner of the winning balloon receiving £100 worth of family friendly vouchers.
To find out more, visit www.rabr.co/ech or call 01625 433477.