The Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic took time today to honor departed KTVB Meteorologist Larry Gebert. He was awarded the prestigious pride of Boise Award, celebrating his work promoting the Boise River fest and the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic. Mr. Gebert passed away this April from an unexpected heart attack. He was known as the constant champion of promoting nonprofit events in Idaho.

Steve Schmader, the event's co-founder, spoke to the morning crowd at Ann Morrison Park. He explained the tribute flight that launched this morning to honor Mr. Gebert. A single balloon was launched in flight with three streamers remembering Larry Gebert.  His wife Julie who was at his side for so many community event took part in the flight.  He liked to call her the Admiral when they hosted the Make a Wish Polar Bear Challenge every New Year's Day.

"Larry embodied community and embraced all things that brought us together," he said. "Larry was the face of Boise events and the heart of our community for decades." Mr. Schmader reflected on a story when two viewers showed up at the balloon festival in pajamas because Mr. Gebert told them they must see the balloons.

Mr. Gebert's passion for covering events was well regarded throughout the state. You could see his commitment, whether running between floats at a local parade or recognizing someone who joined him for his early morning segments known as 'Where's Larry?' Watching him work so hard to elevate others in our world was a joy.

Mr. Schmader closed his comments with a personal message to Mr. Gebert. "Larry, I assume you're here; your friendship and never-ending support will always be a part of the Spirit of Boise. May the winds always be in your favor and keep you with us every flight."

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