“Raising” Awareness of the Needs of Seniors in Georgia and Virginia

July 19, 2011

Early Saturday morning in West Point, Georgia a bobblehead doll (with an uncanny resemblance to Jason Sager of Home Instead Columbus/Fairfax) was duct taped to a weather balloon and launched approximately 114,000 feet (20 miles) heavenward, later to land in Marbury, Autauga County, Alabama.

Will Mr. Bobblehead survive the fall to earth? Will Jason and friends recover their shredded balloon and beloved lunch box? WILL that dog ever get out of the way? Only one way to find out.

GoPro Cameras were protected in a purple Home Instead lunch box with extra insulation and hand warmers.  ThHome Instead's Weather Balloone temperature senors stopped recording at -91 degrees, but the rest of the equipment kept working. The Kaymont weather balloon with its bobbleheaded crew quickly ascended out of view, but GPS equipment enabled the hardy crew to track its every move.

You’ll see cars, West Point Lake and clouds get left behind and then, at about 2 hours later and 20 miles up into the blackness of space, the balloon pops, creating a beautiful flower-like image, and then heads back to earth – quickly!  You hear what sounds like teeth chattering as the the free-fall continues.  Meanwhile, the crew, including Auburn Alabama’s Bridget Jones, also of Home Instead rushes to the landing spot.

Brave Astronaut Bobblehead

The descent proved too much for our intrepid explorer. Don't let his sacrifice be in vain, kids. Stay in School!

In a scene involving an (almost) high-speed chase on  a dirt road, the crew begins searching on foot and by four-wheeler. The frame, cameras and yes, our friend the bobblehead are found hanging from a tree limb on Melody Hill Farms in Marbury, Georgia over 100 miles from the launch site. Special thanks to Brian Hudman and Charles Coleman for getting the equipment out of the tree!Says Captain Sager, “Home Instead helps seniors remain independent, by providing in home care and needed respite for their family members.  It is our hope that this story will inspire our youth to stay in school and remind kids that science can be cool.  After all, it is tomorrow’s scientists who will cure Alzheimer’s and other illnesses that impact the elderly.”

Check out the news story on WSFA.

Alisa Meredith, Writer

Guest writer Alisa Meredith is a blogger and social media professional with Scalable Social Media. Every once in a while, someone at Home Instead does something that compels her to stop Tweeting and write something real! This is one of those times.

One Response to “Raising” Awareness of the Needs of Seniors in Georgia and Virginia

  1. avatar Phil says:

    Great job! I’ve been mentoring a local California high school that has made one balloon flight so far (to 100,000’/30 km), and I’d like to swap technical details and results. I’m especially interested in how you kept those cameras and radios out on the square frame from freezing. We put everything in a styrofoam cooler and still some of our stuff stopped working.

    Can you email me, or can I email you? Thanks.

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