Glancy Rehabilitation Center has been celebrating National Rehabilitation Week for 17 years, but this year's festivities were a little different, according to rehab director Mona Lippitt.
This year the Duluth center is hosting festivities Monday through Saturday in honor of the awareness-centered week.
"We've never done anything this big," Lippitt said. "We've always done something special with our patients and our staff, but not quite like this."
Lippitt said the center is holding more events than usual during rehab week in celebration of a change being made to the center this fall.
"In October we plan to open 30 private beds," Lippitt said. "Right now we have 20 semi-private rooms and 10 private rooms."
Duluth Mayor Shirley Lasseter joined the staff of the Gwinnett Hospital System center Monday to kick off the start of the week-long celebration with a balloon release by the patients and staff.
"I think it's very important to have rehab, and the blessing is that we have a place like this right here in Duluth," Lasseter said.
About 15 patients filled the parking lot of the rehab center armed with multi-colored, helium-filled balloons embossed with the center's slogan - "Rehab working together one day at a time" - and tagged with business cards with the center's contact information.
Lippitt said the celebratory events will continue through Saturday. An ice cream social and fire and police safety demonstrations for children and guests will begin at 10:30 a.m. today and an antique car show will run from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Both events are open to the public and will take place at the Glancy Rehabilitation Center, 3215 McClure Bridge Road in Duluth.
To fill the remainder of the week, Delmar Gardens Assisted Living residents joined the rehab patients Tuesday for a bingo competition, and gym activities will be arranged for the rehab patients on Thursday.