Here at The Arc of Delaware County, our focus is person-centered. It’s not just about reaching optimum potential, it’s also about helping to create fulfilling lives, lives of dignity and joy. We hope you enjoy one such experience for Edson Jones written by Jessica Baldi.




Edson Jones has dreamt of flying in a hot air balloon for at least 15 years! Through The Arc New York recreation grant, Edon’s dream became a reality. Words can not describe the excitement Edson felt through the entire adventure; from finding out that he was actually going to fly in a hot air balloon, to feeling the wind in his face as he ascended 4,000 feet in the air. He was nearly bursting at the seams with excitement.


Edson is fearless! He was eager to get right into the little basket that was about to take him into the clouds. Although his takeoff was rocky and he bounced in the basket as the balloon dragged it until he was upright, Edson laughed and laughed at the adventure. As he took off, all Edson could say was “Wow!! Look at that!” as he lifted up, waving to onlookers below. He was amazed to see the houses and backyards of places he passed and excited as he ascended over the clouds. Even higher, Edson couldn’t help but be in awe of what he saw. He was able to watch deer jumping through the woods and noted that the cars looked like “matchboxes.” He had no fear as he crept to 4,000 feet while the driver was catching the wind that would take him to the landing site. Edson wanted to go higher. As he descended, Edson was asked to sit in the basket to prepare for our rocky landing. He laughed and laughed as the bottom of the basket brushed the tops of trees while the driver headed for the field to land. As the balloon went down to the Binghamton airport, the basket tipped and bounced, similar to takeoff and once again, Edson cracked up with laughter, never fearful. As he climbed out of the basket, he was still giggling! Edson waited by the basket as his team folded up the balloon.


Edson had a smile on his face that he couldn’t take off. He was thrilled to share his experience with all his friends, co-workers and neighbors. He said it was something he would never forget and hopes he will have the opportunity to do it again. The next day, Edson still couldn’t stop talking about his experience. It was surely something that he will remember forever.


“I laughed and smiled the whole time! It was cool floating in the air. We went a long ways ’til we landed.”