Shrieks of delight. Giggling. Wide eyes and jaws dropped in amazement. These are the things we want to see in our children: Carefree moments of fun and delight. Give Kids The World Village – a nonprofit resort in Orlando, Florida – delivers these priceless moments for kids with critical illness and their families with free vacations. Olympia balloon artist Natalie Teabo, owner of Hello Sunshine Balloons LLC., was chosen to create a very special balloon display in Orlando as a benefit for Give Kids The World.
Natalie has been a balloon artist since 2018. “I couldn’t find someone that was making balloons the way I was looking to purchase, but by the time I figured it out it was too late and then I thought, I could do this for real!” she shares. “I love that balloons can transform us adults back into kids, it creates a sense of wonder we have forgotten about. Winnie the Pooh said it best, ‘Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.’”
Here in Olympia, Natalie has quickly grown her business, creating big builds for large corporation and events throughout the year. She built the San Francisco Bridge for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County and she does the giant beer steins at the Tumwater Brewfest.
Natalie doesn’t use just any old rubber balloon. “Grocery bag balloons are usually made with petroleum and other chemicals,” Natalie shares. “I only use the highest-quality natural rubber, biodegradable latex balloons and purchase balloons from distributors that follow a sustainable and earth friendly pledge. The balloons you find at the grocery stores will not give you the same lasting quality as well as not be sustainable for the earth and frankly the stink! I also advocate smart balloon principals, no balloon releases, education to clients about all foils having to have a weight and properly disposing of balloons correctly. I am also a member of PEBA – Pro Environment Balloon Alliance – an organization committed to the safe responsible use of balloons.”
Give Kids The World, Orlando Balloon Build
Natalie made the cut along with more than 400 other balloon artists from all over the nation who took a week out of their regular work to travel to Orlando, Florida for the balloon build July 11-15, 2022. The build was created by Big Balloon Build, an organization that creates larges builds for charitable organizations. Supplies were provided by The Pioneer Balloon Company.
Using over 500,000 balloons in a 30,000 square-foot hotel space, the group recreated parts of the fantastical areas at the Give Kids The World Resort. “The plans of the build were made by balloon designer Stuart Davis and his team,” shares Natalie. “We were placed into six different teams that were responsible for different sections of the build. My team worked on ‘Under the Sea,’ where we built a giant pirate ship, sea creatures and pirates!” It took five days of straight work to build the ballon wonderland, with some displays as tall as 24 feet.
The experience was fun, exciting, and a little bit emotional for all involved. “Children who stay at Give Kids The World receive a gold star to personalize and place on the ceiling of the castle of miracles, the village ionic castle,” explains Natalie. “For the balloon build, those wishes were written on small gold balloon stars and placed all over the balloon build. Each star had one wish. Those wishes were the most beautiful thing you ever did see. From, ‘I wish I was a unicorn,’ to ‘I wish to be cancer free.’ We all had to take multiple breaks to catch some air after reading them and placing them around the balloon world. I will hold that memory close.”
Once the build was done, the public was invited to purchase tickets to walk through the themed areas, which included a Toyland, Enchanted Forest as well as the Under the Sea area. The proceeds from the ticket sales went to Give Kids The World.
Back home, Natalie is looking forward to continuing to bring smiles to people of all ages with her balloon builds. Be sure to look for her steins at the Tumwater Brewfest. For more information, visit the Hello Sunshine Balloons LLC website.
For more information about Give Kids The World, including how to donate, visit the Give Kids The World website.