Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Tony the Tiger Overshadows Hot-Air Balloon.(Schools)

Byline: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer

* Mascot garnered more attention from elementary students accustomed to the aircraft

Pilot Gary Moore inflated the envelope of his brand-new balloon Wednesday as the eyes of Rio Rancho Elementary were upon him.

He recited a list of trivia: the six-story balloon can contain 77,000 basketballs and costs at least $20,000 unadorned. The first passengers of a hot-air balloon were a sheep, rooster and duck when two brothers invented the craft in France.

The audience was suitably impressed that is, until the mascot of the sponsor, Tony the Tiger, marched out for hugs.

Moore, a resident of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. …

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