June 20, 2015 09:02 AM
Thousands of blue balloons are being placed throughout Eden Prairie.
It's one powerful way those both within the community and beyond are communicating with a family grieving an unexpected loss.
"They've got broken hearts right now," said one woman as she picked up her balloons. "We want to be there."
Seventeen-year-old Sydney Gallager went into cardiac arrest while having her wisdom teeth removed last week.
Now, from friends on the swim team to complete strangers, many are working to cover the city in thousands of blue balloons for Sydney so her family sees and feels the support as they travel through town to her funeral scheduled for Saturday morning.
At Walgreens, people are buying up the 2,000 specially ordered balloons faster than employees can fill them.
Photos were posted on the "Blue Balloons for Sydney" Facebook page of balloons placed throughout the world.
"She was always smiling," said friend Amy Harjes. "I don't think I've ever seen her not happy."
"She was a beautiful, energetic, wonderful young woman and it's just heart-breaking," said Jule Musech, who runs a non-profit where Sydney and her mother frequently volunteered.
Sydney will continue to impact even more lives as her organs were healthy enough to be donated for transplants and have gone to help roughly 60 people.
A scholarship fund in her name is also in the works.
Community members are working to place the blue balloons by 9 a.m. Saturday, in time for Sydney's family to see on their way to the church.
When posting photos of the balloons on social media, you can use the hashtag #blueballoonsforsydney
Updated: June 20, 2015 09:02 AM
Created: June 19, 2015 05:01 PM
Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company