BELOIT—One local couple has found a way to spread cheer safely.
Dayton and Amy Bennett’s balloon company, Dabadooya and Company, has been delivering colorful balloon sculptures to yards across the Stateline Area. Balloons twisted to make flowers, Easter bunnies and elaborate “squiggle” bouquets which blow in the wind are putting a smile on the faces of loved ones everywhere.
Elisa Williams of Rockford said she placed several orders for her friends and family. She said it was a good way to spread cheer because it didn’t require Bennett to knock on a loved one’s door or leave something that might contaminate an inside surface as the sculptures are stuck in the ground outside.
One of the more special orders was of a red, white and blue sculpture to her family members in honor of her cousin, a U.S. Navy veteran who recently passed away. She’s also considering placing some bunny orders for Easter.
“I love to spread joy,” Williams said.
Dayton Bennett, 25, is a Rock County Christian School music and physical education teacher who graduated from Beloit Memorial High School in 2013. He and wife, Amy, have two sons, Austin, 3, and Jamie, 1.
He learned balloon twisting at age 9 while visiting his great grandfather who bought 5,000 balloons. The two took their creations to nursing homes, daycares and beyond.
“We weren’t really good at it, but we had a lot of fun,” Dayton Bennett said.
While attending Life Church in Roscoe at age 12, he learned more tricks such as face painting, juggling and balloon twisting from a clown ministry. From age 12 on, he continually made extra income with balloon twisting and facepainting. He sold balloons at the Beloit Farmers Market for a few years. In more recent years he filled in at the market when Mary Krayik, otherwise known as Pickles the Clown, couldn’t make it.
The balloon sculptures are ordered for birthday parties, wedding receptions, Quinceañeras, company picnics and more. The business was growing so much Dayton Bennett had plans to make it fully support his family. However, COVID-19 hitting was a huge hit to his dream as events were cancelled.
In an effort to get creative and to keep the business going, the Bennetts take orders online or over the phone and make deliveries to people’s yards. The balloons are attached to a stick which can keep them anchored in the yards.
“We can still bring joy to people. We are getting a lot of birthday orders and orders for those who can’t get out of their house. Families are sending balloon sculptures, and loved ones can see them from their window,” Dayton Bennett said.
Dabadooya has been flooded with new orders from the Rockford area, Byron, Durand, Belvidere, Janesville, and the greater Beloit area. Easter deliveries of bunny balloons are expected to keep the Bennetts hopping throughout the weekend.