When the New Jersey Education Association canceled its conference in Atlantic City this week, they were left with 100 potted mums that had been purchased in advance to decorate the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Instead they will brighten the rooms of patients at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

“It took us about a minute to figure out the best use for these flower arrangements,” NJEA President Barbara Keshishian said Friday. “We contacted the good folks at AtlantiCare and arranged for all 100 of them to be delivered to the hospital today.”

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Keshishian said she hopes the flowers will remind everyone that despite Hurricane Sandy, spring will come, along with better times for Atlantic City.

“We are already planning next year’s convention,” she added, “and look forward to a return to Atlantic City next November.”

AtlantiCare chief operating officer Margaret Belfield said they appreciated the gesture.

“Our patients and their families will appreciate this thoughtful donation,” Belfield said. “Just as many of our physicians and staff who continued to care for our community were affected by Sandy, so, too, were many of our patients.”

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