Reina P. Cunningham
The “Good Morning America’s Disney Time Hometown Celebration” benefited more than just those directly involved in “52 Weeks of Giving.”
Newly opened local businesses also benefited greatly from the party.
Red Balloon Celebrations inflated 600 hundred balloons for the event.
Disney first contacted Red Balloon several weeks ago. Owners Tim and Tracy Baker were skeptical when they saw ” Walt Disney” displayed on the caller identification. They recalled thinking it was a telemarketing scam.
“You don’t expect something like that to be in Middlesboro,” explained Tracy. “I am so glad that it did.”
For the past few weeks, the Bakers spoke with Disney representatives about party possibilities, but were not sure whether or not they would actually get to do the job.
“We prepared in the event (we would), but we didn’t know for sure,” said Tracy.
The preparation paid off because Disney representatives arrived at the store with the balloons on Thursday morning.
The Bakers began inflating the balloons at 10 a.m. and did not get finished until 10 p.m. To meet the deadline and for dealing with transportation problems, they called their pastor for help when they did not think they would be able to finish in time.
The Bakers began to deliver small batches of the balloons to the Middlesboro Community Center, but rising temperatures combined with the friction of newly inflated balloons trapped in a small space proved for hazardous travel conditions.
The Bakers quickly developed a new game plan.
“We ended up taking the tanks and finishing down there,” explained Tracy.
The Bakers called their pastor to ask for help. With three additional workers, the Bakers were able to inflate and assist in the setup of the balloons in time to get home and rest before coming back to the party the next day.
Red Balloon wasn’t the only newly opened store to benefit from the event.
Cumberland Gap’s newest restaurant, The Pineapple Tearoom, was also asked to participate in the festivities.
The Tearoom catered the event with a breakfast of various types of biscuits, as well as coffee, milk, orange juice and soda.
The new restaurant owners, Sue Bain and Brian Gibson, had to hire additional help for the event. The group arrived at the event around 3 a.m. to begin preparations for breakfast.
Representatives from Good Morning America had visited the Tearoom on a previous trip and selected the restaurant to cater the event.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205, email@example.com.