Project Gratitude in Mason City aims to create a ripple | National Life

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Main Street Mason City Executive Director Emily Ginneberge, left, and KCMR Director of Development Ozzie Ohl, right, holding up signs that will be on display in downtown Mason City this weekend as a part of Project Gratitude which Ohl helped develop.

30 different words of recognition, chosen by over 50 different businesses, on about 400 yard signs and 50 window signs.

That’s the undergirding of Project Gratitude which is set to take place in downtown Mason City’s Central Park on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until noon.

“Project Gratitude came together as we were reflecting back about the challenges, the difficulties, the sacrifices we have all gone through. It hasn’t been fun. But we also have to pause and have moments of gratitude,” KCMR Director of Development Ozzie Ohl, who helped put the event together, said.

Ideally, Ohl said that once all the signs are assembled in Central Park and people have had the chance to look at them and reflect, folks will take them home and put them up in their own corner of town.

“Use this as a stepping stone and not just a moment in time,” Ohl said.

Some of the signs bear words such as “faith,” chosen by Newman Catholic, and “thankful,” picked by D&D Sales. According to Main Street Mason City Executive Director Emily Ginneberge, who’s helping with the event, Ohl was a big help in reaching out to the businesses who picked their words.

“Those words were their personal experiences,” Ohl said.

Ginneberge said that she believes that an event so focused on positively can be impactful not just within the community but outside of it as well.

“Even during COVID, as we were reaching out and networking, our community seemed to be always on the same page,” she said. “We were communicating and holding each other up, so I’m hoping that by what we’re doing it’ll spread some positivity across North Iowa and to other Main Street communities because it’s something that’s really easy to implement.”

Following that thought, Ohl said: “A good friend of mine, said years ago, to “be the ripple.” And this is an opportunity for Mason City to be the ripple.”

Jared McNett covers local government for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at or by phone at 641-421-0527. Follow Jared on Twitter at @TwoHeadedBoy98.

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