Judges gathered in early October to take on the difficult task of selecting the winners of the 2009 Great Reno Balloon Race photo contest sponsored by Reno.com. More than 1,200 amateur photos came from throughout the country, but the first-place winner, Brianne Porterfield, calls Reno home.
Porterfield won a free balloon ride at the 2010 Great Reno Balloon Race and an official 2010 Balloon Race jacket for her photo, which features a sleeping baby girl who “got up just a tad too early” with the colorful display of balloons behind her.
Second place was awarded to Kam Merzlack of Jackson, Calif., for her Dawn Patrol photo, which captured an up close view of the brightly illuminated balloons against the dark, early morning sky. Merzlack will also receive an official 2010 Balloon Race jacket.
The third-place winner, Trevor Diem of Reno, caught the Dawn Patrol pilots lifting off into the sky in his photo and will be awarded $50 in Balloon Race souvenirs.
Honorable mentions include Lisa Putnam of Santa Clarita, Calif., and Mike Nelson of Sacramento, Calif.
Judges were Ginnie Kersey, Carole Anderson and Ingrid Drummer from the Balloon Race Board of Directors; Marilyn Newton of the Reno Gazette-Journal and long-time Balloon Race photographer; Sayuri Yamane, graphic designer for NevadaHome Magazine and Northern Nevada Business Weekly; and Megg Meuller of Reno.com.
Thanks to the continued support of generous sponsors, The Great Reno Balloon Race continues as a free event for its 28th year. This year’s major sponsors include Wells Fargo, Wilbur D. May Foundation, Dixie May Foundation, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, Peppermill Hotel Casino, Farmers Insurance Group, Harrah’s Reno, Curves, City of Reno, Jack in the Box, Great Basin Internet Services, Communications Installation Services Inc. (C.I.S.) of Reno, News Talk 780 KOH, Bonanza Casino, Eldorado Hotel/Casino and Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, with a special thanks to our Founding Sponsors: Circus Circus, IGT, Sands Regency Casino Hotel and the University of Nevada, Reno.