Balloon artist brings ‘balloon buddy’ program to nursing home in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 February 2021 at 11:10 am

Sheryl Watts would like to expand program to all nursing homes, assisted care sites in county

Sponsors are sought for “balloon buddies” for each of the 140 residents at Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Medina. The balloons will include a poem.

MEDINA – A certified balloon artist wants to bring some joy to residents of nursing homes and assisted-care sites in Orleans County.

Sheryl Watts, owner of Air Raising Events, has joined a nationwide effort in the Adopt-A-Grandparent Balloon Buddy Campaign.

She is first focusing on making a balloon buddy for all 140 residents at Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Medina. Watts is halfway there. She doesn’t want to do the program unless every resident gets a balloon, which is a smiley-faced character with a heart. She will add a poem that the recipients are not forgotten and are loved.

“We want to adopt everyone so no one feels left out,” she said. “Once they are all adopted, I make the balloon buddies and deliver them at one time.”

The balloon buddy campaign is a national effort by balloon artists, seeking to bring some extra joy to senior living facilities, which have suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic, including extended separation from loved ones.

Watts is seeking sponsors for $15 for a balloon buddy for each resident. If she has sponsors for all 140 residents at Orchard, she will then do the program at another site in Orleans County.

Watts has been working as a balloon artist for the past 20 years, working at children’s parties, graduation events, weddings and other celebrations.

Balloon artists throughout the country are joining the effort to bring balloon buddies to the senior citizens.

“We like the idea of bringing hope and happiness to the seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” she said. “Many of them are suffering from depression and loneliness.”

For more on the program, including how to become a sponsor, click here.

Sheryl Watts made this strawberry costume during the June 2019 Strawberry Festival Parade. She has been making balloon creations the past 20 years.