Welcome to Orange Earth Minnesota
The Green Giant turned orange, the mayor declared the city’s name be changed to Orange Earth and students from Blue Earth Area showed up in anti-bullying orange T-shirts.
It was all part of a media event called Unity Day held last Wednesday morning at Blue Earth’s Giant Park.
Co-sponsored by General Mills and their Green Giant Company, and PACER (a Minneapolis based national Bullying Prevention Center), the hope was to create a buzz in media across the country in support of October being Bullying Prevention Month.
The event started at 10 a.m. on a nice but windy fall day.
The three speakers at the program were Melissa Wildermuth, integrated marketing director for General Mills, Julie Hertzog of PACER and Blue Earth mayor Rick Scholtes.
Scholtes read the official proclamation where the name of the city was officially changed from Blue Earth to Orange Earth for at least one day.
A large version of the proclamation was unveiled and Scholtes signed it. Also, a large cloth covered up the usual “Welcome to Blue Earth” sign in front of the Giant statue. When it was uncovered, it too proclaimed Blue Earth to be Orange Earth, in honor of Unity Day Oct. 9 and October Bullying Prevention Month.
Over 40 Blue Earth Area student council members were also in attendance at the ceremony, all wearing matching orange T-shirts provided by PACER.
The shirts were designed by 2002 BEA grad Jenna Hanson.
Hanson, after graduating from Hamline University and then spending a year in France, started working as the publications coordinator for PACER.
“One of my fellow workers came to me and told me about this ‘Raise a Giant’ campaign,” she says. “They asked me if I knew that there was a very large statue of the Green Giant somewhere in Minnesota. I told them I sure did know, because it is in my hometown.”
In partnership with PACER, Green Giant Company is asking parents to write letters to their kids at a new website, raiseagiant.com, and help them stand up to bullying.
So far, hundreds of letters have been sent in.
“The best way to take away a bully’s power is for one kid to stand up and say, ‘That’s not right,'” Hertzog said. “Nine in 10 parents want to empower their child to help their peers who are being bullied.”
Wildermuth said the Green Giant goes to great lengths to help kids grow and thrive.
“We help you physically by providing delicious veggies,” she said. “We also help you thrive emotionally by addressing one of the biggest emotional issues facing families today bullying.”