TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa balloon artist chosen to be one of over 350 to help create a “Balloon Wonderland” has returned home after helping to make the dreams of Wish Kids come true for the Give Kids the World charity in Orlando.

Jonathan Fudge, owner of YTE Events and Balloon Décor, was selected to be a part of the team to create the experience, sponsored by Qualatex, using over 500,000 balloons.

Fudge was in Orlando from July 11 to 15, working on the balloon installation as a team lead.

The balloon wonderland was created inside the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando.

The artists created several themed areas with their artwork, such as Toyland, the Enchanted Forest and Under the Sea.

The balloon wonderland helped support critically ill children and their families from all over the United States with moments and memories.

The balloon industry chose Give Kids the World to support due in part because 92.3% of all funds raised go toward running the charity, and because the charity’s mission aligns well with balloons.

Artists from all over the world came together to support Give Kids the World and worked on the project to raise money and awareness for their cause.

“Balloons don’t last forever. I don’t do my job for balloons. I do it because of the memories, experiences and joy that it brings to those around me,” said Fudge. “Knowing that I could make literally make wishes come true for people brought me and my [colleagues] to tears every time we walked through the installation.”

In the months prior to the balloon installation, children participating wrote wishes on golden balloon stars to be placed in the balloon wonderland.

“Though we could not cure cancer, bring back a child, or offer help for many of the wishes, we could fulfill many of those we came across,” said Fudge.

“I wish I could fly” was placed on a hot air balloon within the display. “I wish dinosaurs were real” was placed in the dinosaur area of the display and “I wish I could ride a zebra” was placed into the jungle safari.

The balloon installation raised over $52,000 for Give Kids the World and the 350 artists worked the equivalent of approximately 3.5 years in their combined effort in four days.

After this experience, Fudge expressed his desire to find a local Tampa charity to partner with to complete a similar project for the city. You can check out Fudge and YTE Events and Balloon Décor online.