The staff at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial will have something to smile about during the long hours fighting the COVID-19 pandemic each day they walk into work.

Balloons Unlimited, a local party planning company, arrived at the main entrance to the hospital Monday at noon to deliver a large rainbow and clouds that will greet staff as they enter the building.

Kathy Cassebarth, balloon artist and owner, said it took about two hours to create the final product, made up of 397 balloons.

“We just wanted all the employees to feel great and to know that they were appreciated,” Cassebarth said after setting the rainbow up inside. “This is just to thank them for their service.”

It took Cassebarth and Robin Clay, a former Adventist Health Lodi Memorial nurse, about five minutes to unload the creation, maneuver it inside the western entryway, and set it up in front the second set of automatic doors inside the hospital.

“We just appreciate everyone in the hospital, no matter what their task is,” Clay said. “Everyone at the hospital is making a difference to keep us all safe.”

Wayne Craig, president and CEO of the Lodi Memorial Hospital Foundation, said Balloons Unlimited has always supported the hospital, noting the 2019 Walk for the Health of it, when they entered the charity run with 6-foot-tall balloon flamingos.

“Balloons Unlimited has again raised the bar — or in this case, the arch — when Kathy and Robin arrived with a giant balloon arch for the hospital entry,” he said. “Having a colorful and fanciful entry lifts our spirits when entering the hospital. Thank you for using your talents to encourage us all.”

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