DUNCAN, S.C. (WSPA) – Many schools in South Carolina are still operating through online learning and have canceled their spring graduation ceremonies.
Local businesses in the Upstate are stepping in to help parents and seniors get the celebration they hoped for, even if it’s unexpected.
Before the pandemic Kristy Lee, owner at Kristy’s Balloon Decorations, had her schedule all lined up full of local events and festivals she planned to fill with her lovely bouquets of balloons.
With the encouragement of her husband and help from her children, she’s happy to spend her days doing what she loves, which is bringing excitement into people’s lives with balloons of all shapes and sizes.
Since the pandemic, she said all of the events are canceled and business has drastically decreased. Like many businesses in the Upstate, she’s eager to get back to working as usual.
But Lee said she’s not giving up. Instead, she’s finding alternative ways to keep business going and keep people in the community happy.
Right now her main focus is giving back to those with birthdays and graduating seniors since the pandemic has taken a toll on their special day.
“I love making balloons so I’ve offered to make free balloon bouquets for the kids who cannot have a birthday celebration. I’ve made a unicorn and Elsa balloon for the birthday kids,” Lee said.
It all started when her son Preston Lee got word that he would not get to walk across the stage for graduation due to the coronavirus and social distancing guidelines.
“A week before spring break we all went home and that’s when the pandemic hit, and everything changed. All of our college plans were changed,” Preston Lee said.
She said it motivated her to find a way to help out other parents in the Upstate who still want to celebrate their seniors’ victory.
“He worked very hard for 12 years, he played cello, he was accepted into college and studied really good but he misses his friends and he cannot have a graduation. It’s so sad,” Lee said.
Lee said she’ll be making deeply discounted and very affordable outdoor and indoor balloons for families in the Upstate with graduating seniors.
“I thought how could I help my son and all of his friends? So I asked my husband and he said we should do a really special offer with the balloon bouquets,” Lee said.
For more information, visit Kristy’s Balloon Decorations website.