Woodbury Nursing Home Residents Receive ‘Balloon Buddies’ from Woodbury Jewish Center to Lift Spirits


For many of the residents at Excel at Woodbury for Rehabilitation and Nursing, the past year since the COVID-19 pandemic has meant largely no visitation and less socialization

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(L to R): Excel residents John Cianci, 70, and Cathy Christofrotos, 92 as they receive their Balloon Buddies. Woodbury Jewish Center congregants sponsored the more than 100 balloon creations by Balloons by Amanda of Syosset. Photo Credit: Excel at Woodbury

That is all changed today when, as part of the international Adopt a Grandparent campaign, each and every resident at the facility received a “Balloon Buddy,” a gift from the Woodbury Jewish Center congregants and Balloons by Amanda. Balloon professionals like Amanda Johnson are joining together from across the world to help fight loneliness and spread some joy through the Adopt a Grandparent Balloon Buddy campaign.

Balloon Buddies are created from balloons much like a magician might fashion a balloon animal. They look like little people with a big smile. Balloons by Amanda created 118 Balloon Buddies for the residents at Excel, through the generous donation by the WJCares committee at the Woodbury Jewish Center. Each Buddy has the resident’s name on it and an attached poem which reads:

When the weather is dreary
And the sun is away

You need something cheery
To brighten your day.

So I’m your new friend
And I’ll stay here a while.

The days I will spend
Sharing joy and a smile!

Stacey Altman, administrator for Excel at Woodbury, said, “It means the world to our residents to know that the outside world has not forgotten them. This past year has been a difficult one, but I know that the Balloon Buddies will be bring some joy and smiles into their lives.”

“Woodbury Jewish Center and WJCares is honored to be able to help make a difference and brighten the day of 118 Seniors residing at The Excel at Woodbury for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Woodbury,” said Adrianne Roth, 2nd vice president and co-chair of WJCares. “We love the “Adopt-A-Grandparent“ initiative organized by Balloons By Amanda, and hope each and every recipient smiles knowing they are being wished well from Woodbury Jewish Center Congregants when they receive their Balloon Buddies!”

Johnson, a member of the Board of Directors of the Syosset Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, said that there are other nursing homes in the Syosset-Woodbury area that will also be receiving Balloon Buddies, sponsored by a variety of individuals and organizations.

Excel at Woodbury for Rehabilitation and Nursing is located at 8533 Jericho Turnpike in Woodbury.