America's Challenge Updates
Inside the Basket - Jeff Rowe, Kiwanis Treasurer
April 25, 2019
Jeff Rowe is the Kiwanis Club of Albuquerquepast president and the current treasurer. The Kiwanis Club works the admission gates at Balloon Fiesta.
In this month’s Inside the Basket, learn more about Kiwanis and their role at the event, in addition to Jeff’s favorite Balloon Fiesta tips.
1. Give a brief overview of Kiwanis and their involvement with Balloon Fiesta
Kiwanis began its association with Balloon Fiesta when the Key Club at Highland High School served on the chase crew during the first Balloon Fiesta. About 25 years ago, Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque undertook the ticket sales and parking duties at Balloon Fiesta. We yielded the parking duties four years ago but maintain the staffing for ticket sales for each event. It takes approximentely 550 volunteers to staff the gates.
Through our partnership with AIBF we have raised and donated in excess of $1.5 million to local childrens’ charities.
Kiwanians wear many hats but our mission is to help the children of the world. One child, one community at a time.
2. What is your role within Kiwanis and your role with Balloon Fiesta?
As treasurer, my duties are to shepherd our funds into the areas where they will do the most good for the most kids. During Balloon Fiesta I orchestrate the distribution of tickets and people for each gate down to the window where the sales take place. This takes a lot of help. We have volunteers to see that our folks have coffee, hot chocolate and snacks. Others make sure that the tickets never run low and that the funds are recorded and deposited with AIBF.
3. How can guests best prepare for general admission, before and at the event?
The best thing to remember is that during October, when the sun isn’t shining the temperatures change quickly. So, before sunrise and after sunrise the temps will be chilly. Bring warm clothing even if you think you don’t need it (but you probably will). Go online and familiarize yourself with where the vendors are for strollers, wheelchairs, lost and found, etc. There are lots of friendly people who will help you.
4. What is your favorite part of working with Balloon Fiesta?
My favorite part of working Balloon Fiesta is seeing the awe on the faces of the people who are watching the most colorful event above the earth!
5. What advice do you have for first-time guests?
Firsttimers need to walk onto the field and talk to the pilots. The pilots are interesting people from all over the world and have great stories to tell. Better yet-get a ride. But book it now because the rides sell out long before the first week of October.