WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Special Ed. students run V-Day bouquet business

(WEAU) – When Valentine’s Day arrives every year that means love is in the air.

Love is about making others happy and that's exactly what the special education students at Altoona High School are doing.

Blowing up balloons with helium to curling its string perfectly is something these students look forward to every year for Valentine's Day.

"The best part is blowing up the balloons and making everyone happy I guess. Everyone deserves to be happy on Valentine's Day,” said Brandon Ramsey, Senior at Altoona High School.

"It's like black Friday you've got all these things that need to be done in a short amount of time,” said Amanda Mussehl, Special Education Teacher at Altoona High School.

Amanda Mussehl and her high school students have been busy filling about 180 orders of balloon bouquets. This is a self-sufficient business that in its first year only sold about 20.

"Freshman year it kind of was really a disaster, because we had a lot of balloons pop, left and right," said Brandon Ramsey, Altoona Senior.

But there are no balloons popping here, rather students learning the skills of running a business

"I learned the aspect of hands on training," said Ramsey.

"It’s really just getting them ready for the retail world. Making customers happy, making sure that your work is done correctly," said Mussehl.

With each bouquet only costing $6, parents have been calling nonstop to send a sweet message and a bouquet to their kids.

"The majority of the orders have come from the elementary school. I get some high school parents saying I don't want to embarrass my kid. I say do it anyway so we actually have a few high school too," said Mussehl.

Yet hard work is paying off. This business usually brings in about $500. It’s used for field trips and a $100 college scholarship.

"Last year we went to a Twins game with all our business that we did and hard work that we did," said Trevor Buttke, Senior at Altoona High School.

Once the process is complete there's three latex balloons, a mylar, candy and a nice Valentine's Day message."

But the best part about this is delivering the final product.

"I get a kick out of little kids when their up to my waist. I just look back and remember those days," said Buttke.

Although Altoona High School is closed for Valentine's Day, students hopefully will receive their bouquets on February 15th.


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