News of Peterborough’s solidarity reaches New York school
PRHC balloon travels hundreds of kilometers, spreads community message of hope and kindness

A balloon intended to let our community know about PRHC’s new 24-hour patient visiting policy inadvertently escaped the building and made its way to New York in less than a week, the hospital has learned.

Julie Ruggiero, a teaching assistant at Dolgeville Central School in Dolgeville, New York (at the base of the Adirondack mountains), emailed PRHC on Dec. 1 to let us know she found the balloon on her front lawn over the weekend.

Once she had retrieved it, she began researching the hospital and the Peterborough community, and was amazed to realize how far the balloon had traveled before floating down into her yard.

When looking the hospital up online, Ms. Ruggiero happened upon Dr. Peter McLaughlin’s recent CEO Blog post praising our community’s response following the recent attack on a Peterborough mosque. She used this information as an opportunity not only to reach out to the hospital and the Peterborough community, but also as a teaching moment for her students:

“We are so sorry for what has happened there to your mosque, but find it amazing the fundraising effort of your community to raise so much money toward the rebuilding of the mosque! Please let everyone know that your message has traveled internationally and we have implemented it in our curriculum here at school. The 6th and 7th grade social studies teachers have shown the balloon to our children and videos of the terrible acts put upon your community. We have taught them that the community together can do so many things for each other and that there are more acts of kindness than bad!  Thank you for your message and we stand with you in your acts of kindness in this world as more need to be recognized!!”     — Excerpt of email message received from Julie Ruggiero