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CORNWALL, Ontario - A Cornwall service club forked over $15,000 Wednesday night to help Cornwall Lift-Off organizers offset a deficit measured in the thousands of dollars. While specific numbers were not divulged by Lift-Off co-chair Jason Jesmer during an interview Wednesday evening, he did indicate the deficit will be partially covered by the cheque presented to the board by the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall, the title sponsor of the hot-air balloon festival that has become a cornerstone of family-oriented activities in the city. "We have a deficit from previous years," he said. "But we're doing what we need to." Part of that strategy included a Wednesday night meeting with the public to solicit ideas from the community about what Lift-Off patrons would like to see in the future. And Jesmer confirmed, contrary to some rumours swirling around the city, there will be a Lift-Off event next summer - the 20th year for the event. "We need input on what would make a successful event for them," said Jesmer, adding there could be changes to the event next year. Once again, specifics are not being discussed at this stage. "We don't want to eliminate things until we go to the public and see what they want," he said. Jesmer said Lift-Off organizers are also looking to educate the public on what goes into a show. Many have complained about the cost of tickets, while also deriding the entertainment provided for live shows. Jesmer said the public must realize there is a cost to hiring live acts, while also footing the bill for everything from public toilets to fencing and electrical hook ups. "That's one of the reasons we want to have nights like this," he said. "We have to pay for all these items."
VP Jody Archambault with Life Member Walter Wheeler and Members Terry Muir and Marvin Plumadore presenting the sponsorship cheque to Lift-Off Chair Jason Jesmer and Co-Chair Mary Marleau