July 06, 2022
Philadelphia balloon professional Alison Kahan was chosen as part of an international team tasked with creating an immersive "Balloon Wonderland" for Give Kids the World, a charity which serves critically ill children.
Kahan, who owns an event decor business called Charming Garlands, is traveling to Florida next week to join a talented team of balloon professionals from around the world. The group will utilize over 300,000 balloons to create an installation that the charity hopes will provide children and their families with moments of hope and happiness.
"I hope the kids will react with a brief moment of shock just from the massive scale of what we've created, followed by pure joy and ear-to-ear smiles," Kahan said. "It's going to be a very long week of work to make this all come together, but seeing their faces light up will make it all worth it."
Give Kids the World is a nonprofit "storybook" resort in Orlando that gifts critically ill children and their families from across the country with weeklong, cost-free vacations.
"What an amazing event this is; Alison is going to be part of creating many iconic pieces from our Give Kids the World Village in this gigantic balloon display," Pam Landwirth, CEO of Give Kids the World, said. "We are so grateful for their support of Give Kids the World, demonstrating how the joy of balloons can also make a difference to the lives of so many."
The team of balloon professionals will create several fantastical-themed areas over a span of 30,000 square feet for children to enjoy during their stay at the resort, including "Toyland," "The Enchanted Forest" and "Under the Sea." Some balloon displays will stand as tall as 24 feet.
Kahan first started Charming Garlands in June 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. She always hoped to "spread balloon joy" and give back through her business in some way.
"When I started my small business, it was always one of my goals to give back. A larger than life balloon build like this for a great cause is the perfect way to do that," Kahan said. "I feel honored to be able to use my craft to help put smiles on little faces and help those children escape from what they have to go through on a daily basis, even if just for a short period of time. That is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do."