Missouri second-grader’s lost birthday balloons float 500 miles to Tennessee

A Missouri second-grader whose birthday balloons flew off into the sky received some special gifts in the mail from a man who found the lost balloons 500 miles away.

Kason Johnson’s mother said she was walking her son to the family car at Mountain Grove Elementary School in Mountain Grove, Mo., when he lost hold of the balloons that had been presented to him at school for his 8th birthday.

The balloons appeared to be gone for good, but a few days later Todd Huyler was mowing his lawn in Cleveland, Tenn., when he spotted some balloons stuck in his fence.

The balloons were attached to an envelope that bore the name of the business that sold the balloons as well as the name of the school.

Huyler, a woodworker, sent handmade gifts including a baseball bat to Johnson and his teacher. Huyler also included photos of himself and his dachshund, Henry, as well as $100 for Johnson and a letter to the boy’s parents.

“Truly a message in a bottle,” Huyler wrote of the balloons. “The simple gesture of a family showing love and appreciation to their 2nd grader with a gift of surprise humbly impacted me beyond belief. How amazingly fortunate Kason is to have a family that will make the effort to show unselfish love.”

Mountain Grove Elementary School applauded the “great story” on its Facebook page.

The owners of a Bath, England, restaurant sent their own message-by-balloon last year. Niraj Gadher, owner of the Chai Walla eatery, said the weather balloon was meant to carry a load of samosas to space as a lighthearted stunt, but the balloon ended up crash-landing about 300 miles away in Caix, France.