Grand Rapids resident celebrates century in a hot air balloon

A woman celebrating her 100th birthday recently fulfilled her lifelong dream to ride in a hot air balloon.

Evelyn Jansma turned 100 years old on 23rd October last year. Her grandson, Terry Visser, said that he had arranged a balloon flight for her, although it only took place recently, 10 months after her birthday.

Visser contacted a hot air balloon company, Michigan Balloon Adventures, explaining that the ride was to celebrate his grandmother’s 100th birthday. On hearing this news, the balloon company offered the balloon ride free of charge.

Although Jansma is now approaching the age of 101, it proved to be better late than never. Just recently, Jansma and her friends and family gathered in a field where the balloon was lowered. Prior to boarding the balloon, Jansma said that she was so excited as she had been looking forward to the balloon ride for a long time. Her grandson contacted her the Saturday before the flight to let her know that it was scheduled for the following week.

The centenarian was lifted into the balloon basket, where a seat had been placed for her to sit on during the ride. The pilot of the balloon, Tom Burgeon, took the balloon up into the air for around 40 minutes before landing again.

According to Visser, the birthday balloon flight was the ultimate gift, and seeing his grandmother look so happy was priceless. The pilot told her that the next free balloon ride would be offered when she turns 110.

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