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Hermantown joins ‘Be the Light’ movement

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HERMANTOWN, MN. -- It's a movement that's spreading across the country, and Monday night, one Northland community joined the 'Be the Light' movement to shine some positivity during these dark days.

"Obviously when it got canceled it was tough," said Nolan Ruprecht, a Senior on the Hermantown baseball team. "Being my senior season, and having a good season as a team last year, we were all excited to get out on the field and then when this happened it was a big bummer and a big blow to the team."

Ruprecht had high hopes his senior year on the field would be a big home run, but just like thousands of athletes all across the country, he's coming to terms with the season coming to an end, before it began.

But he's not alone. Schools across the country have found new ways to offer help and support during this pandemic.

"A lot of folks have seen it developing on social media about different schools and different communities really coming together to do different, small, meaningful, gestures to make sure that people know there is care and support out there," said Joe Wicklund, Communications Manager for the City of Hermantown.

In comes the 'Be The Light' movement, which has communities like Hermantown, Mountain Iron-Buhl, and Grand Rapids offering solidarity by turning on the lights.

Fichtner Field in Hermantown is being lit for about 20 minutes and 20 seconds.

"In small-sized communities, these gestures, I think, can really resonate and help remind people that it only takes a few small motions to be able to make a great light shine for folks during tough times. You can make a really big difference in a small community with a really small, really important gesture like this," added Wicklund.

The goal is to offer a symbol of hope and assurance, not only to the athletes who had their season cut short or canceled altogether but to the entire Hermantown community - that the city won't stay dark for long.

"Everyone was excited, so it's tough for everyone that's a part of a spring sport. The support, it feels good," added Ruprecht.

Once the lights go on, Hermantown city leaders stress you stay in your car and practice social distancing so the community can remain as healthy as possible.

The lights will shine in Hermantown every Monday until the end of May.

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Ryan Compeau

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