As graduation fast approached amid a global pandemic, Santa Clarita resident Rosalie Sanchez knew she wanted to do something special for graduates.
“I actually was really hoping that (the city) would do something for our community, considering I felt like this past year we just got hit with so much,” Sanchez said. “Then I thought, ‘If they don’t do something, I have to do something.’”
As the owner of Happy Balloons, Sanchez knew exactly what she wanted to do: make a large “Congrats Grads 2020” balloon display in each school’s colors and simply show up with them at the Central Park drive-by graduation ceremonies.
“The cutting out and the balloons takes so much time, so it took me actually three days and probably a good 12 to 15 hours each day working on them,” she added.
While she got a late start, Sanchez was able to finish her first display just in time to catch Saugus High School’s graduation, which she was excited about as it was her intention to do it for them, she said.
“They came out great, so I said, ‘OK, well, I’ve got to keep going,’” Sanchez added.
After finishing off the high school graduations, Sanchez created a special display, where each letter featured a different school’s color, to be displayed at The Sanctuary Church in Canyon Country for their drive-by celebration.
“It was something I really wanted to do for my community because these kids don’t get to experience what the rest of us experienced in graduating high school,” she said. “They’re not going to get that sense of accomplishment.”
While Sanchez said she later realized that this year’s graduations were special in their own way, she is still just grateful she got to play a part in it.
“It’s something that they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives, and I figured if they have a chance to at least smile a little bit more at the end of it, seeing the display, then it was worth it,” she added.
Since Sanchez started her business about a year and a half ago, it’s always just been about making people happy. First was her sister for her baby shower, next a coworker for her son’s first birthday.
“I created this really large, almost life-size, No. 1,” she added. “I think it was 6 feet tall, maybe 10 inches wide. … She was mind-blown, and said, ‘You have to keep doing these things because they’re amazing. You’re very talented.’”
From there, friends and family came to her for every celebration, eventually creating Happy Balloons.
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