SALT LAKE CITY — St. Mark’s Hospital’s essential workers looked up to see a tribute to them projected across the entire front of the hospital Wednesday night.
Every day since the coronavirus pandemic began, health care workers have walked into the fray, past “thank you” signs posted by the entrance, but this was the first time they had a light show.
Wednesday night’s show was projected toward the blue tent outside the emergency trauma center where workers screen patients before they enter. Local entrepreneur Cooper Brown lit up the building with blue and orange lights — the colors of the hospital — and projections.
One projection read, "Thank you," with blue hearts streaming behind it. The other, larger one alternated between photos of the workers in their masks and gloves, and custom animations of superheroes flying to save the day with phrases like, "Not all heroes wear capes."
Workers stepped out of the tent and snapped photos and videos and watched the show when they had a moment. People passing by pulled into the parking lot to watch.
"Gestures like this really go a long way to boost our team’s morale," said ICU nurse Kathi De St. Jeor. "It’s the little things that help with all the big stuff going on."
Brown has owned his DJ business, One Above Entertainment, for 10 years. A couple of years ago he started adding projections and lights to his shows. This took off enough to become its own separate business, Charisma Event Lighting.
He had just gone full-time with his businesses when the pandemic hit, taking away any opportunities for events and large gatherings. Rather than give up hope, he decided to use his unique skills to show his appreciation for health care workers at no charge.
St. Mark’s Hospital jumped on the opportunity to honor their workers. They took pictures and videos of their teams in their protective gear next to a sign that defined the word hero as "Our frontline heroes who show up to keep our communities safe and healthy," and "You."
Brown chose the superhero theme because the workers are skilled and selfless, trying to solve the impossible. He couldn’t sleep that night from the rush of watching their reactions to his work.
"It was honestly the highlight of my year," Brown said. "It was neat to see them appreciate it, because I know they’re sacrificing so much to help people."
The purpose of the show was also to help people in the local community think outside of their own isolation and problems and remind them of the essential workers who are helping them fight against these circumstances, Brown explained.
"We really just want to thank the community and everyone who has shown such an outpouring of love to our team," De St. Jeor said.