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Polk County high school lights up football field with message for health care workers

The message was simple, but strong as it could be seen from those in the hospital, which overlooks the high school's football stadium.
Credit: Polk County Public Schools

LAKELAND, Fla — It took one family, a few hours and some old Christmas lights to let health care workers at Lakeland Regional Hospital know they are loved.

One Lakeland High School family headed to the empty field at Bryant Stadium earlier this week to create a display reading "LRH" with a heart. The message was simple, but strong as it could be seen from those in the hospital, which overlooks the field.

"This heartfelt display lit up the field at Lakeland High's Bryant Stadium on Wednesday night. It's a show of support for the employees working to fight the coronavirus at Lakeland Regional Health.," the school district wrote on Twitter.

According to Polk County Schools, Jill Bevis and her family were behind this kind act. 

They sat an watched as the message began to catch the attention of those inside the hospital as cellphone lights began appearing in windows waving back to them.

“I think if you’re watching the news and you’re seeing what our health care providers are sacrificing … they’re all putting themselves at risk to keep our community safe, healthy and strong,” Bevis said, speaking to the school district. “We wanted to light it up and let them know we’re thinking of them, we appreciate them.”

Bevis' husband is also a physician, so the strain currently on medical professionals during the coronavirus pandemic is not lost on their family.

The goal: to reach as many health care, professionals at possible at LRH

“Some of these people are working the longest days of their lives,” Bevis said to the school district. “This is for the heroes — the people who show up every day to serve the food and do the laundry; it’s not just for the nurses and doctors. We have a lot of brave people working right now.”

The display will be lit up nightly from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. until Friday. 

RELATED: Tampa Police Department salutes health care workers on the coronavirus front lines

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