02/17/2009 1:14 PM - We love it when our sponsors really get involved in the Festival. PNC Bank has been a great partner and is a great example of how a company maximizes their investment and commitment in making the 27th annual Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank the premier family entertainment event that it is.
“We are thrilled to announce the continuation of PNC’s sponsorship of the Festival,” said Howard Freeman, the Festival’s Executive Producer. “Their involvement allows us to do many great things for the community throughout the year, especially for school children. PNC has fully embraced the Festival and all it has to offer. They don’t look at this as a three-day event, but rather as the opportunity to rise above and present very meaningful service programs over several months. This enables them to be an integral part of the most successful family entertainment event of its kind.”
For starters, there’s the sixth annual PNC "American Patriot Essay Contest" for school children in grades 2-12. During the months of March and April, school children throughout the state are encouraged to write about “What the American Flag Means to Me.” Last year we received well over 1,000 thoughtful and beautifully written entries. Our Grand Prize winner receives a hot air balloon ride for two at the Festival as well as a visit to their school by one of our giant, colorful 75-foot-tall balloons.
PNC’s “Grow Up Great” school readiness program allows us to introduce the magic of ballooning to preschool children as we provide a very cool and very unique, hands-on learning experience. This walk-through event in May and June provides the opportunity for hundreds of children ages 3 to 5 to step inside one of our giant balloons and experience thrills and visual attractions as they go outdoors to study the world around them. PNC’s “Grow Up Great” is the most comprehensive corporate-based school readiness program in the country, a 10-year, $100 million investment dedicated to help produce stronger, smarter, and healthier children, families and communities, preparing young children for school and life.
The PNC American Flag Balloon, the largest free-flying American flag in the world and a Festival favorite, is proudly inflated on Flag Day in June and for the Fourth of July as we honor our country.
PNC’s on-site activities throughout the Festival weekend include the American Flag balloon taking flight during our mass ascensions, providing its “Grow Up Great Mobile Learning Adventure” and presenting our concert headliner on Sunday afternoon.
Leading the way, PNC is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services. There’s a lot going on at PNC, from investments to community involvement, and we’re glad they’re part of the Festival family.