Tampa balloon artist, Jonathan Fudge of YTE Events and Balloon Decor, just returned from Balloon Wonderland, created inside the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida between July 10-16 and helped to raise money for Give Kids the World. The team was able to raise over $52,000 so far.
This balloon installation is the largest of its kind and featured over 500,000 balloons and the skill of over 350 professional balloon artists from all over the world. Give Kids the World Village is an 89-acre, whimsical non-profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida, which provides week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families from around the world who want to visit Central Florida.
The balloon industry specifically chose this charity because their administrative costs (92.3% of all of the funds raised go toward running their program according to the Charity Navigator) and also because their vision and mission aligns so well with balloons. Balloon artists from around the world came together to support the cause and work on a massive project to fund awareness of the foundation and to raise money for their cause.
“Balloons don’t last forever. I don’t do my job for balloons. I do it because of the memories, experiences, and joy that it brings to those around me.” Says Fudge. “Knowing that I could literally make wishes come true for people brought me and my colleges to tears every time we walked through the installation.”
For 3 months prior to the build, children participating in their wish week wrote wishes on golden balloon stars to be added to the balloon build. Each of those stars were placed into the display.
“Though we could not cure cancer, bring back a child, or offer help for many of the wishes” says Fudge, “we could fulfill many of those we came across.”
“I wish I could fly” was placed on a hot air balloon.
“I wish dinosaurs were real” was placed in the dinosaur area.
“I wish I could ride a zebra” was placed in the hand of the zebra for the Jungle Safari.
Every single balloon artist that worked on this project was brought to tears reading and placing wishes and hearing stories from the volunteers working with Give Kids the World. When asked about his experience, Fudge expressed his desire to find a local Tampa charity to partner with to complete a similar project for the city.
If you would like to contribute to Give Kids the World or learn more about them, visit the Give Kids the World Website.
After posting this, we were listed on a number of major news networks online. Here are the ones we could find. They are all the same article as it was a press release distribution, but it is still cool to see it mentioned in so many places.
Digital Journal https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
News Channel 8 Hillsboroughhttps://www.wfla.com/news/hillsborough-county/tampa-balloon-artist-helps-make-dreams-come-true-for-wish-kids-with-balloon-wonderland/
News Channel 8 https://www.wfla.com/news/hillsborough-county/tampa-balloon-artist-helps-make-dreams-come-true-for-wish-kids-with-balloon-wonderland/
RFD TV https://www.rfdtv.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
SNN News https://www.snntv.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
Cowboy Channel https://www.thecowboychannel.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
News net https://www.newschannelnebraska.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
97.1 Talker https://www.yournewsnet.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
Southern Sports Today https://lifestyle.southernsportstoday.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
The Podcast Park https://lifestyle.thepodcastpark.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
680 93.7 FM The Fan https://lifestyle.680thefan.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
Sports Talk Xtra https://lifestyle.xtra1063.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
Rewind 101.9 https://lifestyle.rewind1019.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
US 98.3 https://lifestyle.us983.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
Country Legends 105.9 https://lifestyle.countrylegends1059.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
967 WSHV https://lifestyle.967wshv.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
1045 the Dan https://lifestyle.1045thedan.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true
Classic 96.7 fm 3wz https://lifestyle.3wzfm.com/story/46942136/balloon-artist-makes-dreams-come-true