Latest Updates

“Balloons for Ron”

How far will your balloon travel?  Who will find it?

balloons4ronAt 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time on January 16, people from all over the country will launch balloons with their name and address on them in hopes that someone far away will find them.  An on-line database and telephone hotline will allow the person who finds the balloon the opportunity to report their discovery. Various prizes will awarded including farthest traveling balloon.

Ron Kirk died in the mountains of Red Rock Canyon in March of 2012. The search for Ron lasted over 3 months and brought the citizens of Las Vegas together and brought many a sense of purpose in life they had never had before. In addition, “Red Rock Search and Rescue” was created in the search and memory of Ron and is a large organization responsible for finding many lost people in Red Rock Canyon.

Ron inspired many people in his lifetime and was always there for his friends and family. To honor him, we have created “Balloons for Ron” an event where people from all over the country send-off a balloon on the day and time Ron died from a fall at Red Rock Canyon in 2012.foundballoon

“Balloons for Ron” has significant meaning to Ron and the Kirk family. When Ron was only four-years-old, he received a white helium balloon as a gift from “Chicken Unlimited” during a family visit there. When the family returned home, Ron’s Dad, Darrell Kirk Sr. told Ron to put his name and address on the balloon and let it go. From the back yard of their Lansing, Illinois home, Ron and his brother said goodbye to their balloons, one never to be seen again, the other having a significant impact for a lifetime of pride and memories.


Ron donated blood several times per month and was also a “Bionic Superhero” called on in emergencies by “United Blood Services” Click on the drop above to find a location near you.

Weeks later, Ron and his family received a letter from Mrs. Sauzer of Slippery Rock Pennsylvania. In a full one-page letter, she told of finding the balloon in her back yard and about her life there in Slippery Rock. In the letter was the deflated balloon, string, and address tag from Ron. For a child of four, you can’t imagine the excitement and pride the letter gave Ron and his family, and without a doubt this story was told from then on, until just weeks before Ron’s passing. Ron’s dad, Darrell, was quick to tell “Chicken Unlimited” about the incredible voyage of the balloon which unleashed another chain of events. The “Hammond Times” newspaper set-up a meeting between Ron and “Chicken Unlimited” and Ron’s picture wound up on the front page of the paper the next day. The headline of the story read: “Enterprising Little Ron Kirk” In addition, Ron received coupons for a whopping fifty chicken dinners! Without a doubt, this was one of the most significant events in Ron’s childhood and instilled a sense of adventure and travel in him.

It is our hope that “Balloons for Ron” can bring this same sense of excitement to all of you and your family. For more information, please call Darrell Kirk at (206)255-9770

PS: Enclosed, please find your “Balloons for Ron” launch kit containing a latex balloon and orange trail tape both of which are 100% biodegradable.  You will need a permanent marker to put your name, address if you like, telephone number, etc on the orange trail tape.  You can use the following telephone number, and email if you like for reasons of safety:  Darrell Kirk (206)255-9770.  Email:  Also, be sure to add the web address of the event: where people who find the balloon can go for more info on the balloon they have found.  Find a flower shop, gift shop, etc. that sells balloons and either purchase a latex balloon from them, or have them blow up the balloon supplied in the launch kit.  “Self-tie” the inflated balloon without any other plastic, etc. and then tie your orange trail tape identification flag to the balloon.  Let the balloon go at 1PM Mountain Time, or another convenient time on January 16th.

There are several Facebook pages pertaining to Ron and his incredible story over the last two months.   Please be sure to look at all of the pages below as they all contain different information:

* Find Ron Kirk Facebook Page

* Ron Kirk Facebook Page

Ron Kirk Facebook Fan Page  (Here you can find the newspaper, TV, and Radio stories about Ron.

Information on Ron’s funeral service can be found here:

Visitation will be next Thurs the 22nd from 2-8 pm at Smits funeral home located across the street from castle storage on Route 30. Their address is 2121 Pleasant springs lane Dyer, indiana.  

Funeral services will be held at 10am at Smits with burial immediately following at Abraham lincoln national cemetery in Elwood, illinois.

Keep Ron’s memory alive!  Help outfit the Search and Rescue organization started early in the search and in memory of Ron: Red Rock Search and Rescue RK-512.  To purchase emergency whistles, compasses, rappelling ropes, etc. Click Here.

Ron loved, and was an active member of “United Auto Worker’s  Region 4 Veterans”  You can make a donation to this fine organization in Ron’s name here: Click Here. 

You and find out more about “UAW Veterans” by Clicking Here.

“Las Vegas City Life Magazine” “Legacy” article on Ron Kirk and all the people and groups behind the search.

Please be sure to listen to “National Public Radio” “Live”on Monday Feb. 27 for a story about Ron: Listen to Archived Show Here.

Here’s a link to a blog that also features the search for Ron:

Sin City Hash House Harriers

Here are some old movies of Ron taken in the 70’s in Dolton Illinois: Old Movies

Order an “On-Ron” T-shirt here: On-Ron T-shirts

Here’s the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Search and Rescue Promotional video

Las Vegas Hikers “Meet-up” Group

“Red Rock Search and Rescue”  Created in honor of Ron in the initial search for Ron Kirk:

Thursty Thirstday Hash House Harriers is also the page to go to quickly find contact information, links, and other information.

We are in the process of building this website and hope you will pass it along to others interested in the Search for Ron Kirk.  Also, we would like your comments and suggestions in making this site more effective for those in the pursuit of finding Ron Kirk.

Thank you

6 Responses to Latest Updates

  1. WhelanTrek says:

    Also http://www.whelantrek.coom is now linked trhough the blog entry. I am going to make a catagory for Ron too so that I can continue to blog about the searches.

  2. Kara Uriss Peterson says:

    Think I saw something on the Facebook page about a shirt with proceeds to search/family, but I’m not actually on Facebook so I couldn’t follow link. Any other way I can look into shirts? Thank u.

  3. Rob Diver says:

    Saturday February 25th @ Sweet Woods, located in Glennwood, Il at the Cook County Forest Preserve.
    All are welcome!
    Sweet Woods is sacred ground to Ron, its a place where he loves to run, ride, and share comradery with friends.
    We all wish we could be a part of the search in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas, but since that’s just not possible for some of us, this event is for family and friends to lend support from a distance. Please come out to lend support, prayers, tell stories, and to help bring Ron home! Candles will be provided. The candle lighting will be at 4:00pm, but feel free to arrive earlier.

  4. WhelanTrek says:

    Follow Red Rock Search and Rescue where we are committed to finding Ron Kirk @RedRockSAR

  5. Guts Danson says:

    Rest In Peace Ronnie

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