Up, up and away! As part of an annual fundraiser for world hunger in the 80s, hundreds of helium balloons were released from Merrimack’s campus in a massive display. Sponsors would pay 50 cents for a ticket that would be attached to a balloon and the ticket found farthest away won a prize. One balloon made it to Deer Island in Maine—more than 160 miles away!
Begun in 1982 by Father Ray Jackson, Balloon Day started as just the balloon release, but in subsequent years grew into a campus carnival with games, booths and live entertainment. In 1987, TODAY show weatherman Willard Scott broadcast live from the event.