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Mount Forest community draws together to thank frontline workers

Local resident Stu Husk rallied the town to draw thank you messages on their driveways

MOUNT FOREST – On Saturday, the driveways in Mount Forest were full of colour as the community thanked first responders and frontline workers with chalk drawings. 

This community event came from the mind of Stu Husk, a man of ideas. 

Last year when a man needed to raise money for medical reasons, Husk figures he bought about 1,000 fidget spinners to donate as a way to raise money. 

“I’m a Newfie by the way, so I come up with anything at all and I do anything,” Husk said, explaining how his ideas come about.

During this pandemic, Husk knew he had to do something to raise community spirit and to thank frontline essential workers. He also understands how stir crazy everyone is getting staying inside.

“Kids are sitting at home driving their parents crazy or the parents are driving the kids crazy,” Husk said. “I thought, ‘I got to do something.’”

Husk decided on encouraging the whole town to do chalk drawings thanking first responders in their driveways. 

“I’m going to get them to get chalk because it will wash off the driveway and get them to thank responders and essential people,” Husk said. 

He went to neighbouring towns and bought all the chalk he could find to supply the community.

“I went to Harriston and bought all the chalk at Home Hardware,” Husk said. “I went to Arthur and I bought all the chalk they got in Arthur.”

Husk has asked the local fire department to get involved in the day as well.

“I got ahold of the fire department to see if they would drive around town Saturday for four hours with the siren going a couple times and honking the horn,” Husk said. “The kids will be tickled pink over that.”

On top of all this, he decided to give away pizza coupons to participating houses. He said he might put the names in a hat and do a draw or give some coupons to the fire department to give out.

“What we’re going to do is give away 27 large pizzas,” Husk said.

Husk went another step further and asked for Mayor Andy Lennox to put out a challenge to other towns in the county to do something similar.

“Just put a little challenge out for other communities, the mayor thought that was a good idea,” Husk said. “He’ll go out and say ‘We got x number of houses, why don’t you guys try it and see how many you can get?’ Just something to do a bit of fun that’s all.”

Husk said over 100 houses ended up participating, giving him and his wife Heather Aitken a busy afternoon of photographing and writing addresses. He stressed that there’s no money involved and he just wants to show community spirit and pride.

“Just to bring us together and get people out of the house and put a smile on people’s faces,” Husk said. “Show the responders that Mount Forest is thinking of them.”