The Veritas Funding hot air balloon rises from the playground at Meadow Elementary. | Nicole Kunze

Meadow Elementary kicked off Drug-Free Red Ribbon Week by sending Principal Alisa Hart up into the crisp October sky in a hot air balloon on Monday, October 29. Hart was accompanied by Brady Farr, Meadow Elementary’s Teacher on Administrative Assignment (TAA) and Scott Gonsalves, Partnership Facilitator, floating 95 feet above their Meadow Elementary students.

“We love bringing the balloon to elementary schools. The kids love it!” said Zac Bramble of Veritas Funding, who piloted the hot air balloon which was donated for the day by Veritas Funding Mortgage Consultant, Trent Perry.

Most of the Meadow Elementary students remembered to wear red for the first day of Red Ribbon week, and after an assembly, they walked out to the playground where the hot air balloon was tethered. The kids excitedly watched the balloon come to life as it was filled with hot air.

“We want to get the kids excited about saying no to drugs – to seek out natural highs,” said Principal Hart. Hart is new to Meadow Elementary this year, coming from Cherry Hill Elementary in Orem. “We wanted to have something the kids would remember, something to attach to being drug-free. A hot air balloon is pretty memorable!”

Principal Hart, Brady Farr, and Scott Gonsalves stepped into the hot air balloon’s basket once the balloon was completely inflated. The children at Meadow Elementary shielded their eyes from the sun and cheered as they watched their leaders float above them. They’ll celebrate the rest of Red Ribbon Week with a dance party, a Halloween parade, pajama day, and an aerial photo of the entire student body.

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