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Scholfield Honda balloon lives up to its warranty

Tuesday, November 18 2014 4:29 PM
By Roger Scholfield
Scholfield Honda balloon lives up to its warranty

Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 10:41 am
Tom Embrey, staff writer

Scholfield Honda is in Kansas. One of its promotional balloons, however, is decidedly not in Kansas anymore.
The small white balloon with blue lettering drifted down in the yard of Aberdeen Mayor Robbie Farrell earlier this week.
“I looked at it and I didn’t recognize the name,” Farrell said. “I was curious. I thought, ‘I’ve got to look this up before I throw it away,’ and then when I found out where it was from, I thought, ‘This is too good to throw away.’”

Scholfield Honda is a dealership in Wichita, Kansas or a 1,200-mile trip of bouncing along air currents, dodging trees, cell towers and power lines along the way. Simple latex, helium-filled balloons like the one that turned up in Farrell’s yard typically pop when they reach an altitude around 28,000 feet, assuming they’re not already slowly leaking their gas. The lighter-than-air balloon is completely dependent on friendly currents along the way to keep them out of harm’s way.

After discovering his balloon’s feat of daring-do, Farrell sent an email to the dealership telling them of what turned up in his Aberdeen yard.
At first he got a computer-gererated automatic reply email back asking if he wanted to buy a car. It is about a 19-hour drive from Aberdeen to Wichita, and the Farrell family already owns a Honda.

By early afternoon Monday, Roger Scholfield, president of the dealership got in touch with Farrell. “He was a real nice guy,” Farrell said. “I asked him if he had any deals on a used car, and he said he did and they had a 100,000 mile warranty,” Farrell said. When reached by phone, Scholfield said the balloon was not part of any promotion but is similar to ones that are made specifically for the dealership’s new car showroom. The balloons are often given to children who come to the dealership with their parents. “My guess is one of our young guests got one and let it go,” Scholfield said.

Sholfield said a similar thing happened about 20 years ago when members of the dealership put a note in a balloon and let it go. Eventually they received a phone call from a man in Chicago, who said his daughter found that balloon. Scholfield said he was surprised at how well this balloon held up after seeing it in photos. “It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” Scholfield said. “I guess that tells you how indestructible that warranty is.”

Farrell said he is unsure what he is going to do with the balloon, which is slowly leaking. “It’s probably not going to last too much longer,” Farrell said. “But it is a great story.”