Sharing the love

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is sharing the L-O-V-E with Sentara Obici Hospital staff in honor of Hospital Appreciation Week, May 10-16, 2020.

“Suffolk Loves the Arts,” the Center’s L-O-V-E Letter art installation, was relocated on Monday from the Suffolk Center to Sentara Obici Hospital’s lobby to illustrate the LOVE the community feels for the front-line workers and first responders that keep us safe and healthy.

Jessica Lowder, vice president of operations for Sentara Obici Hospital, welcomed the idea of working with the Suffolk Center to share the LOVE letters with hospital staff and visitors.


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“We are beyond grateful for the ‘love’ we have felt from our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The LOVE letters are a beautiful and fun way to continue keeping spirits high while celebrating the many team members it takes to carry out our mission each day.”

The LOVE letters exemplify the people, places and rich history of Suffolk. Each letter was designed and created in collaboration with four Suffolk high schools. The L was designed by King’s Fork High School; the O, by Lakeland High School; the V, by Nansemond River High School; and the E by Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

The project was done in part as a tribute to Virginia Tourism Corporation‘s 50th anniversary of the successful “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan. The Suffolk-inspired LOVE letters were unveiled Nov. 23, 2019, at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and are one of more than 190 giant LOVE letters in towns and cities across the state.

“The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is very pleased to do its part in representing our community’s deep appreciation and strong support of Sentara Obici Hospital’s employees who are working hard to make and keep our community well during this pandemic,” said Susan Lawrence, Suffolk Center executive director. ‘What better way to outwardly show this heartfelt gratitude to our local front-line medical workers than moving the LOVE letters from the Suffolk Center to the hospital to be a constant reminder of how much our community appreciates their sacrifice and service? The fact that we are moving the letters during Hospital Appreciation Week makes it all the more special.”

Moving the 6-foot-by-3-foot letters was no easy task. The endeavor would not have been possible without the generous support of a Suffolk business, Lawrence Trailer Service, for donating the manpower and transportation to move the letters from the Suffolk Center to the hospital as a way of showing its appreciation of the hospital front-line workers and support of the Suffolk community.