Master Chain Saw Carvers Compete Under Sea of Balloons to Raise 'Wishes' for Kids

Aug 31, 2010, 13:48 ET from ECHO Incorporated

CHICAGO, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- ECHO's popular Chain Saw Carving Team will once again return to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® in New Mexico October 1-3 to carve for the Make-a-Wish® Foundation of New Mexico and compete in the 6th Annual ECHO National Chain Saw Carving Championship.

This year's championship once again showcases the ECHO team members to see who will be judged as the superior carver. The four professional carvers will compete for cash prizes and the prestigious ECHO Carving Cup. They have 22 hours to produce masterpiece sculptures under the Balloon Fiesta theme: "Earth, Wind & Flyers." On Sunday, October 3rd the sculptures will be judged and then auctioned, with proceeds benefiting the Make-a-Wish® Foundation of New Mexico. The Foundation grants "wishes" to children who have a life threatening medical condition.

Which of the four best chain saw carvers in the country will show us the most unique interpretation of "Earth, Wind & Flyers?" Mike Bihlmaier (Marengo, IL), Mark Colp (Lakeport, CA), Jason Emmons (French Lick, IN), and Bob King (Edgewood, WA) have appeared as members of ECHO's national carving team since 2005 when ECHO first formed the team. The company started the ECHO Carving Series and Championship the same year.

This highly talented, gang of four are professional full time carvers who make their livelihood carving commission work, competing in competitions and making appearances under the ECHO banner. Ramping up the excitement this year is whether another upset looms. Last year Jason Emmons captured first place from three-time, consecutive winner Bob King. Mark Colp won "People's Choice" for the second year in a row.

This is the third year the National Championship has been held at the Balloon Fiesta and carved for Make-a-Wish® Foundation of New Mexico. Past auctions and raffles from this event and the Regional Chain Saw Carving Championship held the second weekend have raised close to $80,000 for the non-profit.

You can follow the team as the tension ramps up at      or on the team's Facebook page.

The Balloon Fiesta is the perfect visual venue for the unique art of chain saw carving. With more than 700 participating balloons, Balloon Fiesta is the largest ballooning event in the world, the most photographed event on Earth and the largest annual international event held in the U.S. Visit for more details.

ECHO INCORPORATED is a leading manufacturer of professional-grade, high performance hand-held outdoor power equipment for commercial and residential use. For more information, visit

SOURCE ECHO Incorporated