Heartfelt visit: Locals surprise Boerum Hill rehab center’s patients with Valentine’s Day party

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Better than chocolate: Organizer Laura Giromini Arrigoni reads a card to Segundo Nuesi.
Looking good in red: Volunteers passed out a bunch of Valentine’s Day cards to guests at the rehabilitation center.
Moving and groving: Guests and volunteers danced around and enjoyed the music.
Feeling the love: Maria Olano, Rosalind Mackey, Cynthia Genaro, and Irma Espinosa show off their Valentine’s Day cards.

The love doctors are in!

Patients recovering at a Boerum Hill rehabilitation center celebrated Valentine’s Day with a bunch of local do-gooders, who lifted the convalesce­nts’ spirits with some singing, dancing, and handmade cards. The visit was a sweet treat for the residents, who couldn’t help but smile at the big-hearted Brooklynites’ display of affection, according to the woman who organized it.

“You should have seen those expressions — priceless,” said Laura Giromini Arrigoni. “It was a magical experience!”

Arrigoni, who lives down the block from the Hopkins Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare on Dean Street, said her urge to bring joy to the facility’s patients grew each time she passed by it, and that the day designated for love offered a perfect chance to put her plan in action.

“I always wanted to do something, but had no clue what to do,” she said. “So I thought, what about Valentine’s Day?”

The handcrafted greetings, which Arrigoni and volunteers delivered along with pairs of fresh socks, brought beaming grins — and even tears — to some residents, according to the organizer, who said others got down to tunes played by a guitarist and a drummer during the event.

And one 104-year-old who partook in the festivities told Arrigoni the secret to staying young, she said.

“Love,” Arrigoni said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:48 pm, July 9, 2018
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