Balloon Day celebrates 30 years of charity



Eileen M. Rafferty

Amid the multicolored balloon arches hung a single link of white balloons marking the 30th anniversary of Balloon Day on Wednesday, while student organizations united to raise money for the St. Thomas of Villanova Habitat House.

“Balloon day is a day to bring everyone on campus together, enjoy the spring and raise money,” senior Gabby Haddad, one of the two coordinators, said.

The carnival was held at the Oreo, and 50 to 60 campus organizations were represented. Each group had their own booth featuring everything from lemonade stands to face-painting.

“Spin a record! Win a prize!” Andrew Gadomski called from the campus’s radio station booth.

Representing Inter-Hall Council, Katie DiPerna, Michele Whalen and Rebecca Rose served cotton candy to participants.

Teamed with volunteers for the day, students from local schools had the opportunity to join in the carnival.

“My kids were really awesome,” senior Kristin Gallagher said. “We made balloon hats, won candy and danced around the Oreo.”

For others, the change of pace provided a pleasant alternative to daily campus life.

“Waking up at 5 a.m. to blow balloons up was definitely worth it when I saw the smiles on all the children’s faces,” sophomore Roger Yeung said.

“I loved the whole thing, but my favorite was the water ice,” a student named Cameron from the People for People Charter School in Philadelphia said,

“I liked the dunk tank the best,” Arthur, his classmate, added.

Much of the money raised came from the support of local businesses and various University departments. Some was also derived from the tickets which needed to be purchased in order to participate in the activities offered.

Balloon day earns approximately $4,000 each year.

“Balloon Day is the spring counterpart to Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week,” senior coordinator Sarah Crosske said. “But that benefits a national charity, whereas this benefits a local charity.”

Each year helps a different charity is helped, and each year the event grows.

“The pure joy and excitement I saw in the eyes of those involved has inspired me to be involved next year,” freshman Ryan Werner said.

Sophomore Tim Madden offered his own statement on the day’s activities.

“Balloon Day embodies the true Villanova spirit of friendship, service and having a great time,” he said. “And who doesn’t like balloons?”