Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Z_CNHI News Service

October 22, 2013

Balloon released in Indiana boy's memory makes unlikely flight

RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. — A group of school children in central Indiana released 1,500 colorful balloons into the air last week in tribute to a friend who'd succumbed to a three-year battle with brian cancer. One of those balloons improbably sailed 799 miles and landed in a New England schoolyard, itself no stranger to tragedy.

Children at Western Primary School in Russiaville, Ind. - a town of about 1,100 people that is 60 miles north of Indianapolis - held a ceremony on the playground last Friday to remember Mason Hopkins, a 7-year-old who liked soccer and motorcycles, and called all girls "princesses."

“One of Mason’s best gifts was his ability to fill our buckets with just his friendly smile," his teacher said during the ceremony. "Because Mason touched our hearts in such a special way, we wanted to share that feeling with others. We hope that anyone who sees these balloons in the air today or finds them when they land will also smile and share their smile with others.”

Sure enough, three days later, several people walking their dogs spotted a white balloon outside Hunking Middle School in Haverhill, Mass. Attached was a note that read, "In memory of Mason Hopkins. You will be missed by Western Primary."

They shared the find with Principal Jared Fulgoni, who at first couldn't believe the ballon traveled as far as it did. An Internet search confirmed its origin and turned up an obituary written after Mason's death on Oct. 5.

His story resonated at the middle school, where a student recently died of cancer and a custodian several years ago lost his 8-year-old son to brain cancer.

“So, for us to have had this balloon float down to us was a powerful experience,” Fulgoni said. “It had given its all to make it here. It was weathered and beaten. It was in pretty rough shape.”

Western Primary Principal Steve Arthur said he was surprised to hear from the school in Massachusetts. Teachers in Russiaville are using its journey as an educational opportunity and another way to remember Mason.

“He loved coming to school,” Arthur said. “He loved to learn. He would be excited to find out where the balloons ended up. We hope to use this in a positive way.”

Lindsey Ziliak writes for the Kokomo, Ind., Tribune.

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Warren's populist pitch on student loans is off key

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist rhetoric pumps up students about their loan burdens, but she conveniently neglects to mention the real problem - the exorbitant cost of college - much less how she's benefitted from those high prices.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order to get a feel for the public's appetite about raising rental permit fees from charging a landlord $25 every two years to charging a certain amount per rental unit per year. So, the question of the week is, "Are you in favor of Centerville increasing rental permit fees?"

A. I'm in favor.
B. I'm not in favor.
C. I'm not sure.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook