Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, May 28, 2001

South Dakota balloon found in Winsted

By Patrice Waldron

It wasn't just an ordinary balloon two sisters from Winsted recently found in their garden. This balloon was special.

Veronica and Melinda Kappel, two retired teachers from Winsted, found a mylar balloon in their garden May 10, around 8:30 p.m.

The balloon had been released from Koch School, Milbank, S.D., just over five hours earlier that day, which was very windy.

The ballon had the address of the school written on it, so the Kappel sisters wrote to the school, explaining that they had found the balloon in their garden.

The following letter was received by the sisters:


Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for notifying us that you found our balloon. We released it on May 10, at about 3:13 p.m.

Wednesday was the anniversary (one year) of the death of one of our students, (Michelle).

She died last year from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. She was in school, and told her teacher that she had a bad headache.

She was escorted to the nurse, where she passed out.

She was gone before the ambulance could get her to the hospital. Tragic.

On Wednesday, all of her classmates released balloons in her memory.

I have the second grade sister in my class and she was kind of left out of the ceremony.

On Thursday, with the help of our school counselor, Alysha sent up a heart ballon in memory of her sister, Michelle.

She was tickled to hear from you. Thanks so much and God bless you for your thoughtfulness.

­ Mrs. Tietjen


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