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Community gathers to pay tribute to Lockhart hot air balloon crash victim

Money raised will go toward funding scholarships for beach volleyball players

SAN ANTONIO – About 200 people gather Saturday to pay tribute to one the 16 people killed in a hot air balloon crash that happened outside of Lockhart in August.

Family and friends of Matt Rowan honored him by doing one of the things he loved best — playing beach volleyball.

The competition also doubled as a fundraiser for the Matthew P. Rowan Memorial Foundation. Rowan’s family and friends said they are happy at the turnout and support, but it was something they expected.

“It’s amazing, but it’s not surprising. Matt was the kind of person that played with everybody. He just wanted to play volleyball. He loved everybody,” said Melissa Calata, president of the Matthew P. Rowan Memorial Foundation. “He touched so many lives. It’s amazing to see a community come together like this, but knowing Matt, knowing his hear, it’s not surprising.”