Balloon race volunteer award goes to Adams
NATCHEZ — Great Mississippi River Balloon Race Committee member and festival site director Scott Adams has been named this year’s recipient of the “Spirit of David Steckler Award” during Friday night’s balloon glow event on the Natchez bluff.
The award honors one faithful balloon race volunteer each year for their tireless efforts that make the race possible, said former award recipient Peter Burns, who presented Adams with the award Friday evening.
“This Steckler Award is presented to a volunteer who has given with spirit and commitment, unselfishly, to benefit both the Natchez balloon event, the community and is truly an unsung hero,” Burns said.
Adams is a longtime Natchez resident and has been a balloon race volunteer for nine years, before which he was a spectator and a fan of the event, he said.
“I went to high school (in Natchez) and then went off to Ole Miss for school,” Adams said. “When I came back, I sent Babs (Price) — who is the director — an email saying I wanted to get involved and help out.”
Adams said Price was hesitant at first because everyone already seemed to have their own place on the balloon race committee, but then later changed her mind and said she could use some more help on the festival site.
Since then, Adams has worked as an integral part of the festivities and learned everything he could about preparing Rosalie to be the festival grounds, Burns said.
“He is well-deserving of this award,” Burns said. “Just this past week as he encouraged committee members not to drive on Rosalie grounds, he requested that everyone walk and went on to give a number of reasons it is good for your health. We can name just as many reasons that he is the 2018 winner of the Steckler Award.”
The award is named for the late Natchez pathologist Dr. David Steckler, who was instrumental in founding the Natchez balloon race and worked for many years to make the race grow. He died in 2000.