ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A balloon shop in Albuquerque is taking part in a national event – building a giant, immersive experience with balloons for charity. “It was a little intimidating because one, you had to be selected and they choose balloon artists from all over the world. But we just went for it,” says On the Rise Balloon Shop owner, Jennifer Olson. The store is near Menaul and Juan Tabo. 

Olson and her husband Brent have been in the balloon business for more than six years and thought this national project would be a great learning opportunity. This will be their first time participating in the Big Balloon Build in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The national project raises funds for the charity Inspiration Ministries and Inspired Coffee which helps employ people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. The director for the project says Jennifer and Brent will be making a difference by spreading joy. 

“When you see a child with a single balloon and you see the smile on their face, imagine the difference you can make with 125,000 balloons,” says Big Balloon Build Managing Director, Stuart Davies. 

Jennifer and Brent say this year’s theme for the Big Balloon Build is “The Great Outdoors.” 

Participants will be creating life-sized animal balloons, doing outdoor activities such as skiing, and sitting around the campfire. They say they’re still in the planning phase but might sneak in a touch of New Mexico.

“Maybe we’ll try to bring that in for sure. Definitely, maybe we can throw in a chile or something,” says Olson. 

They say that while being in the project is exciting, the biggest reward is still working in the community. “To see the look on the customer’s face when they actually see the design come together it’s very rewarding and it makes us love what we do,” says Brent. 

The Big Balloon Build starts on March 19, then they have a week to make their creations. About sixty-five balloon artists are participating this year. 

For more information about On The Rise Balloon Shop, visit their page. More information on the Big Balloon Build can be found here.