Pittsburgh prayer flies to Canada border

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A bright green balloon carrying a message from Pittsburgh sailed through a clearing between 90-foot tall pine trees Saturday afternoon before landing softly on Chris Kormanyos' driveway -- in upstate New York.

"It was quite a way for that balloon to drift if it came all the way from Pittsburgh," he said.

Mr. Kormanyos, who is building a home in Messina, near the Canadian border, said the message came as a surprise: first, because it traveled about 519 miles, and second, because it was regarding a boy named Zach and was delivered by a child of the same name.

"We love Zach, we want your prayers to bring him a new heart. Please send a prayer to Zach in Pittsburgh. Pass it on," reads the note attached to the balloon's string.

"One of the workers on our property's son's name is Zach, he's about 15. He's the one who found the balloon," Mr. Kormanyos said.

With no contact information listed to inquire about (Pittsburgh) Zach, Mr. Kormanyos said he and his family were unable to reach out to the balloon senders as they wanted. He said they prayed for Zach during a recent mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

Although the request for prayers has been filled, Mr. Kormanyos said he would like to know more about the senders and the boy they've invited into their hearts and prayers. More than that, he hopes balloons made it to many other destinations.

"... If they're looking for prayers for their son, there are a lot of prayers they can get in the Pittsburgh area without sending balloons so far," he said.

"I hope their wishes come true and I hope other people, more people than just us, were balloon recipients and said a prayer for that boy."

Deborah M. Todd: dtodd@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1652.


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