More than just a pin

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Every year, along with several other traditions for the balloon race, is a uniquely designed balloon pin with the year on it.  The 2009 balloon was more unique than any other pin prior to or since then.

A pilot by the name of Mike Quartuccio had been at every balloon race since it first began.  Unfortunately, after a battle with cancer, 2008 ended up being his last time flying in New Haven’s Balloon Race.

Ellen Zobrist said, “Quartuccio was a person everyone loved.  It was sad not having him there in 2009.”   Zobrist, using her creativity, came up with an idea to honor him in a unique and memorable way.

If you happen to have a 2009 balloon pin lying around, look very closely on the basket of the balloon and you will see the initials “MO” as seen in the picture below.

What a better way to honor such a wonderful and gracious man.