‘Little princess’ celebrates birthday in isolation
A BALLOON is more than just latex and air for East Mackay resident Jody Zimmermann, who said the magical decorations transformed a little girl's lonely birthday into a fairytale.
The Balloonville owner said it was heartbreaking that so many Mackay children were celebrating their birthdays without family, friends or a party because of social distancing restrictions.
"Little kids don't understand why grandma can't come out or their friends can't visit," Ms Zimmerman said.
"I want to make sure the kids feel loved and can celebrate their birthdays."
Last week, Ms Zimmerman helped six-year-old Aaliyah Neeve celebrate her birthday in style, using 200 gold, pink and purple balloons to turn her garden into a wonderland.
"It was a castle for a little princess who had to stay home," she said.
"She loved it. She was so excited."
Since posting videos of Aaliyah's birthday on her Facebook page, Ms Zimmerman said she had received half a dozen requests from other parents looking to celebrate their child's big day.
Ms Zimmermann said the balloon market had deflated since the coronavirus pandemic, with bridal showers, parties and corporate events cancelled.
But she said she had adapted by providing "knock and drop" delivery arrangements to Mackay residents still celebrating at home.
"I'm getting creative in a different way," she said.