Kids’ Like Us Art Exhibit

Dealing Cards

For the 3rd year in a row, I have been invited to share balloon sculpting and magic with the children who have participated in the Kids Like Us Art Exhibit.  Kids Like Us (KLU) is a substance abuse prevention program that is offered for selected students in the grades 4-8.  It is overseen by the Frederick County Health Department (http://frederickcountymd.gov/index.aspx?NID=3267).

The young artists in the KLU art exhibit have used art as a means to help them overcome substance abuse issues in their homes.  It is truly inspirational to see the emotions, strength of character, and creative process the kids go through, via their art, to express their feelings.  In turn, I am very happy to be able to share with the kids the creative process of sculpting balloons, a process that bring smiles to many of their faces.

Fall Fun and Block Parties

I love the changes of seasons, but I particularly like the transition from summer to fall.  It is nice to have a release from the summer heat, I am a huge college football fan (Hook’em Horns), and fall generally allows us to settle into life closer to home, as our summer vacations have ended.  With the kids back in school, it seems many neighborhoods are now hosting their annual block parties.  This week, I will have performed at two block parties, a venue I always like performing at.  Block parties are typically held outside when the weather is cooler, there is always a wide age range of  kids wanting different types of balloons, and it is fun hearing all the neighbors catching up with one another.  The block party is another reason why I enjoy the transition to fall.

CureSearch Walk

Being the father of two young kids, I particular like being part of events aimed at helping children.  This Sunday, I volunteered my time and twisted balloons for three hours at the first Annual Annapolis CureSearch Walk (http://www.curesearchwalk.org).  The walk celebrates and honors children whose lives have been affected by childhood cancer.  This event raised over $35,000 to help fund lifesaving research.  During the event, families in attendance who had lost children to cancer were recognized.  Likewise, children who had overcome or were still battling cancer were honored.  Many of those kids then found their way into my balloon line, where I was grateful to be able to add a little smile to their faces.

You can see a couple photos of a few of the happy customers.  One set of boys have a lacrosse stick and bow & arrow; the other set of boys were in the mood for a shark and cow hat.

Naval Academy Wedding

It is always fun to work a new venue and this weekend marked a first for me, my first wedding!! The wedding was held at the Naval Academy, with the reception taking place in Alumni Hall.  The bride mentioned that since she and her husband were getting married a little later in life, many of her friends had kids and would be bringing them to the wedding.  I was tasked with entertaining the kids with balloon art during the reception.  The groom is a Naval Officer and the bride was a former Marine (logistics officer).  Being a former Marine myself, it was great to be able to twist balloons on the Academy grounds at the wedding for two service members.

While the photo is a little blurry, you can see the bride and groom with their matching balloons.  The other picture shows a rainbow hat that was requested by one of their nieces.