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CYO spreads positive messages through community

By Staff | May 1, 2020

Submitted photos Little Flower CYO members use colorful chalk to write a message of hope on the sidewalk near Stylin' You salon.

The Little Flower Catholic Youth Organization brought cheer to Rugby last Friday with positive messages written in colorful chalk on sidewalks and walls throughout town.

The messages were part of a service project the group put together last week.

“As an officer team, we had gotten together and wanted to spread some positivity throughout town,” said Little Flower CYO Secretary Kimberlee Leier, a senior at Rugby High. “Everybody’s just going through a hard time right now and we wanted to put a message of hope out there for everyone.”

Leier and Little Flower CYO President Alyson Mundahl said the project began outside of the church at the corner of Third Avenue Southeast and Third Street Southeast.

“We had about 16 kids (participate), but their families also joined them,” Leier said.

“Everybody stayed at least six feet apart, unless they were with their own families, then they were able to stay in that group with them,” Leier added.

“Sister Mary Ruth, my mom Rebecca Leier, Father Frank Miller and Father Anthony set up cones in the north parking lot. When people started to show up at 7, each person parked in their car behind a cone so we were all spread out and no one was close to each other,” Leier noted.

“The priests and the nuns and the directors had an intercom system at the front of the sidewalk,” Mundahl said. ” (CYO members) Bella McCabe and Sarah Blessum brought a golf cart. They had a little fun with it, too.”

Mundahl said Rebecca Leier and CYO Coordinator Lisa Volk handed participants baggies with chalk and papers with positive sayings to write.

“They were being smart so they were wearing gloves and masks,” Mundahl said. “Everyone in the cars wore gloves and masks, too. I know I was.”

The back of the papers contained prayer intentions for the sick and homebound as well as people celebrating births and marriages. The group bowed their heads as the priests led a group prayer over the intercom.

After the prayer, Mundahl said, “They gave us an hour to go around town. On each sheet, there was a list of places, like the walking path, the fire department, pretty much anywhere on Main Street; the Tribune office, too, and in front of the hospital.”

“There were tons of places that were where people who had been walking or running. They’ve been able to see all of this because they’ve been going outside more because they’ve had more time to. So, they’ve been able to see all these good quotes,” Mundahl added.

Mundahl said the quotes were signed, “Little Flower CYO.”

“On the one I did, we put, ‘We are Christ’s hands on Earth.’ That’s our mission statement for the CYO,” Mundahl added. “So, we went around town and spread the message like, we’re all in this together. We had a lot of fun with it.”

Mundahl said she talks to Volk “on a weekly basis.” “She’s been saying people loved it.”

Mundahl said she’s also heard positive comments from her mother, a nurse at the Heart of America Johnson Clinic. “She’s been seeing (the messages) and all the people she works with have said they’ve seen them too, and they really like it.”

“I work at I Design still sometimes and (store owner Daunne Heilman) said she saw people drawing (Friday),” Mundahl noted. “The next morning, (Heilman) saw all the drawings on the sidewalks. She says they just add a little pizazz, I guess, to the community.”

“It was really cool,” Mundahl added.

In an email to the Tribune, Volk described the group’s next service project.

“This week’s service project will be on May Day!!! We will gather in the east parking lot of the church to repot flowers and/or vegetables to distribute to the homebound,” Volk wrote. “All mandated PPE (personal protective equipment) precautions will be observed in order to serve locally!”

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