SCheers. Crazy laugh. Eyes widened and jaws dropped in astonishment. These are the things we want to see in our children: Carefree times of fun and enjoyment. Give children the village of the world — a nonprofit resort in Orlando, Florida — is providing those priceless moments to children with serious illnesses and their families with a free vacation. Olympia balloon artist Natalie Teabo, owner of Hello Sunshine Balloons LLC., was chosen to create a very special balloon exhibit in Orlando to benefit Give Kids The World.
Natalie has been a balloon artist since 2018. “I couldn’t find anyone who made balloons like I was looking to buy, but by the time I realized it was too late I thought I could doing it for real!” she shares. “I love that the balloons can turn us back into children again, it creates a sense of wonder that we have forgotten. Winnie the Pooh said it best: “No one can be discouraged with a ball.”
Here at Olympia, Natalie has grown her business rapidly, creating large builds for large corporations and events throughout the year. She built the San Francisco Bridge for the Thurston County Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs and she makes the giant beer mugs at 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 biodegradable natural rubber latex balloons and purchase balloons from distributors who follow a sustainable and eco-friendly commitment. The balloons you find in grocery stores won’t give you the same lasting quality and won’t last the dirt and frankly the stink! I also advocate smart balloon directors, no balloon release, customer education on all foils to have weight and proper balloon disposal. I am also a member of PEBA – Pro Environment Balloon Alliance – an organization committed to the safe and responsible use of balloons.
Give Kids The World, Orlando Balloon Build
Natalie made the cut along with more than 400 other balloon artists from across the country who took a week off their regular job to travel to Orlando, Florida for the balloon’s construction from July 11-15, 2022. Construction took was created by Big Balloon Build, an organization that creates large buildings for charities. Supplies were provided by The Pioneer Balloon Company.
Using more than 500,000 balloons in a 30,000 square foot hotel space, the band recreated parts of the fantasy areas at Give Kids The World Resort. “The plans for the build were made by balloon designer Stuart Davis and his team,” Natalie shares. “We were put 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 work in a row to build the balloon wonderland, complete with screens reaching 24 feet high.
The experience was fun, exciting and a little emotional for everyone 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’s Ionic castle,” says Natalie. “For the construction of the balloon, these wishes were written on small gold balloon stars and placed all over the construction of the balloon. Each star had a wish. Those wishes were the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. From “I wish I was a unicorn” to “I wish I was cancer free”. We all had to take several breaks for air after reading them and placing them in the world of the ball. I will keep this memory close.
Once construction was complete, the public was invited to purchase tickets to walk through the themed areas, which included a Toyland, an Enchanted Forest as well as the Under the Sea area. Proceeds from ticket sales went to Give Kids The World.
Back home, Natalie can’t wait to continue bringing smiles to people of all ages with her balloon builds. Be sure to look for his steins at 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 Give Kids The World website.