As a non-profit vendor at the Balloon Festival, I sincerely hate seeing the festival struggle with continuous cuts to its existence. For many of the non-profit organizations that have a booth at the festival, it is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year. Most of us didn't mind when the cuts happened a few years back and the festival was forced to charge a "fee", because we don't want to see the festival go by the wayside. To Mell Hamlyn ... you've rallied the non-profits before and we have all pulled together to help keep this going - don't let this be the deciding factor in letting the festival die. I am sure your true supporters and volunteers will stand by you to fill some of those "in-kind" cuts. To the cities of Lewiston/Auburn ... you haven't a clue when you would seriously consider cutting funds to something like the Balloon Festival that not only helps support your local non-profits, but also brings increased business to the the hotels, supermarkets and restaurants that have chosen your cities to build and grow their franchises. Take a good long look at the local numbers (i.e. profits) of said area businesses in the days surrounding the balloon festival as opposed to the Liberty Festival and/or Memorial Day Parade (which maybe brings out 100 spectators and has seen decreased participants over the past few years), then look at where you might make some budget cuts to "in-kind funds".