Balloon buddies bring smiles to Westlake seniors

Belvedere of Westlake resident Marie with her "Balloon Buddy."

Robert Markowitz, owner/operator at Cleveland Magic and Balloons, is part of a national campaign called “Adopt a Grandparent,” along with other balloon professionals across the country. The campaign's goal is to bring joy to seniors in assisted-living facilities.

“These seniors don’t all have families to visit them, and some have families that live too far to visit,” Robert said. He has been a part of the movement since February.

On March 3, cheerful 28-inch-tall figures (known as Balloon Buddies) were delivered to the Belvedere of Westlake. One for each resident, to brighten up their day a bit and bring joy. Activity director Stephanie Gumina said that one of the residents liked her “Buddy” so much that she took the balloon with her to her doctor appointment! They are just the right size for hugging and holding and have been very therapeutic for the residents and staff.

“When I first heard about this national campaign I knew I had to be a part of it,” said Robert. “It’s a way to go beyond being a business, and to serve people in the community, and gives the community an opportunity to contribute, and that’s a win-win situation for the community and for the seniors.”

To sponsor a balloon buddy, visit, and click on the Adopt a Grandparent tab.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 10:26 AM, 03.16.2021