Have you ever been at an event around town and noticed the people in the yellow shirts making balloon animals? They are the Owensboro Twisters, and they’re having a blast! “We do enjoy it,” says organizer Richard Thomson. “It’s always fun to see the smiles on all the kids’ faces.”
The Owensboro Twisters started when the late Tom Gaston made balloon animals for the Goodfellows Christmas party in 2007. It was a great idea, but Tom felt bad because not every kid got a balloon. He knew he needed more manpower, so the next year he recruited some church members to come along. That day was the official beginning of the twisters.
The twisters are strictly a volunteer group, meaning they don’t take payment for their services. But they do take donations, which they always give straight to the Boulware Mission; their charity of choice. Typically, the twisters ask for a donation of $100 for two hours of twisting, which really adds up considering some weeks they book four or five events. Last year alone, the twisters donated $10,000 to Boulware Mission.
So if going to lots of parties, raising money for charity, and making kids smile sounds like fun to you, the Owensboro Twisters Club is always open to new members. Like their website says, they’ll take any one from 8-80 years old. Thomson says it’s easy to learn; they can teach anyone to twist balloons in about 30 minutes. “The three most popular things kids ask for are swords, dogs, and flowers. So that’s what we teach first,” Thomson said. After that initial lesson, the Twisters are constantly learning, mostly from each other or watching videos online. One Owensboro Twister started a year ago and has already learned to make 200 different things.
Look for the Owensboro Twisters at the church events, school events, and community events like the Multicultural Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Owensboro Air Show.
For more information or to join the twisters, visit www.owensborotwisters.com.