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Today's Family Magazine

Make your next event more festive with Balloon Crew, Inc.

Jul 28, 2016 01:00AM ● By Today's Family
By Donna Robinson

“The world’s a nicer place in my beautiful balloon.”  The 5th Dimension song’s lyrics from the ’60s are appropriate for Balloon Crew, Inc.  Jacquie Sopko-Crolius, owner, is thrilled to be celebrating 35 years in business in August.  Before they were named Balloon Crew, Inc. they were Balloons to You, a singing telegram company that started in 1981.  Sopko-Crolius changed the name in 1990, bought the company from her partner and never looked back.

She said, “When I was a kid, my mom always told my sister Kathy and I that we could do anything we wanted…so I did!  She never put limits on us and was always supportive in all my endeavors, even letting me use her house as an office in the beginning.”

Balloon Crew’s first decorating job in 1981 was for a wedding.  “We only charged $125 for all that we did…100 balloons on the ceiling, a helium arch over the bridal table and centerpieces for 15 tables, including delivery and set up.  That would run well over $800 now, ” she adds.

Clients are seasonal.  Spring features baby and wedding showers, May and June are proms and commencements, weddings are all year, and in summer it’s pool parties and family reunions.  Fall tends to be for homecomings or sporting events and New Year’s Eve is a big day for balloons.

Sopko-Crolius said that children love balloons––from a colorful bouquet of helium-filled foil and latex balloons to a creative sculpture of a movie or sports character.  They have balloon ‘airwalkers’ in all sorts of designs such as Anna in ‘Frozen,’ Mickey Mouse, Disney princesses, Disney movies, Batman, Dora and more.

Graduation parties can be created in a number of designs.  Most home parties focus on décor for the driveway, tent, centerpieces and a fun focal point for the graduate that can be the mascot. When Balloon Crew works with commencements, they create special effects such as balloon drops and confetti launches, of which the students really love being a part.  Prom themes are their specialty, from ‘A Starry Night’ to ‘Paris’ to ‘Great Gatsby’ to ‘Red Capet’ as they can transform the room with balloons, lights, props and lots more.

“Almost all our clients order balloon décor for their wedding receptions, but some use us for the ceremony if it’s outside or being held at the reception venue," said Sopko-Crolius.  Outdoor décor is mostly air-filled and on frames because of weather conditions like rain, heat and humidity.  We have decorated weddings with a guest list from 40 to 400.  Our tag line is ‘Event Decorating…From a Room to an Arena!’ ”

For baby showers they have an amazing ‘gender reveal’ design that takes a black balloon (can’t see through it) covered with question marks that they fill with pink or blue balloons and include a ‘magic wand’ with a pin at the end so they can pop it.  Colors are usually about the theme, such as Noah’s Ark, little prince or princess, and Under the Sea or a number of others.

Sopko-Crolius added, “We have parents who have hired us for everything from their child's birth with balloons at the hospital, through graduation parties (high school or college), to bridal showers and weddings…then the birth of their grandchildren.  Now that is heartwarming! When our clients put their trust in us and give us the responsibility of making their event dreams come true, we take it personally.”

Balloon Crew, Inc. designs have been highlighted in Images magazine which is published worldwide and they received the top award for ‘best team effort’ for an event budget between $25,000 and $ 75,000 from the International Special Events Society.  Sopko-Crolius is a certified balloon artist, one of only 3,000 in the world.  She is especially proud that she was asked to teach classes at FLOAT, an international balloon convention in St. Louis, MO in 2015.  This year they were selected as the local company to assist in the balloon drop for the RNC in July.

Sopko-Crolius concludes with, “I am grateful to God as well as my family, friends and staff for helping me create a business that brings so much happiness to families, organizations, companies and schools.  Looking back over 35 years in business it seems like a dream!”

For more information or to have Balloon Crew, Inc. help create your next party, call 216-341-5100, email [email protected] or visit