Clarence man gives hope to Michigan family after balloon landing

CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) — A mysterious balloon turned into a story of hope.

A Clarence man found a balloon in his backyard last week. Instead of throwing it away, he was on a mission to find out where it came from. He ended up finding something greater.

“It just came floating down from the heavens basically right into my lap practically,” said Ed Badhorn, Clarence resident.

When Badhorn stepped off his lawnmower at his Clarence home, he picked up a balloon that was clearly destined for him.

“I picked it up and saw Benton Harbor High School and had no idea where Benton Harbor was,” said Badhorn.

To Badhorn’s surprise, he found out the balloon traveled all the way from Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The balloon traveled for 10 days, nearly 500 miles fully intact. Badhorn immediately contacted the school.

“It was released by a student in honor of her brother who passed away in a drowning accident,” said Badhorn.

Travone Shannon was 17 years-old when he drowned last year after jumping into Lake Michigan from a pier at Silver Beach. His sister released the balloon at his high school graduation while his mother Tonya accepted his diploma.

“She released the balloon in honor to him to say “you made it.” Never did I think that one single balloon got away and traveled somewhere else,” said Tonya Towns, mother of Travone.

Benton Harbor H.S. helped connect Badhorn with Towns. Towns believes the balloon is a sign from her son.

“Ive been looking for like different signs from my son. I think the sign to me was like, “mom I’m still here, mom I’m still out here,” said Towns.

“I would suggest to her that she releases one every June 9 and you know maybe it ends up someplace else sometime, I’d love for it to land on my property again, but the chances of that would be pretty minuscule I’m sure,” said Badhorn.

Badhorn plans on returning the balloon to Towns and her family next month.

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