Once the residents at Cornerstone caught word of the initiative, it spread — like blue wildfire. Everyone at the 279 West Crogan Street “Cornerstone building” wanted to participate.
“It took a life of its own,” said Cornerstone resident Bruce Johnson who helped promote the City of Lawrenceville’s latest endeavor, “Light Lawrenceville Blue”. The campaign was designed to heighten awareness and to create a sense of solidarity for National Police Week which runs May 12th through the 18th, 2019.
To get things started, the city reached out to Joanie Perry who sits on the Cornerstone building’s HOA. She and another HOA member, Debbie Cate, coordinated with the city to purchase enough lightbulbs to color the entire neighborhood blue.
They were overwhelmed when they sold close to 90 bulbs to friends and businesses in the neighborhood.
“It became a real community effort just organically. The city asked us to be the face of their social media in promoting the effort because we are a very prominent building downtown, and it was just a very natural partnership for us,” Perry said. “[The city] thought it would be just a few lights when they presented the idea to the community, but we had 100% participation without any pressure which was so nice.”
It was a chilly night in late April when the neighborhood had a trial run of “Light Lawrenceville Blue.” Every level of the building — the porches, sidewalks and all — illuminated in a cold halo.
“All three levels were lit; the townhomes participated, and businesses were very supportive. Most residents bought four light bulbs. It made our building look amazing,” said Johnson, who took charge of the campaign’s social media front and arranged a photo shoot to inspire others to participate.
Thanks to the community’s enthusiastic response, the City of Lawrenceville has sold out all 250 blue light bulbs purchased to raise funds for the local police department.
“It was a great community engagement initiative. With all our endeavors, we hope to bring people together, because that’s what drives growth,” said Lisa Sherman on behalf of the City of Lawrenceville. “And it’s so important to recognize the police, because they’re the ones who keep our city safe and make that growth possible.”
For downtown residents, there was simply no reason not to join the cause.
“It was such an easy initiative for us to embrace as a community. Everyone wanted to show their support,” Perry said.
“It’s a matter of pride to be the first neighborhood to get involved and show our unity as a community, “Johnson added.
Lawrenceville has planned a few additional events to recognize the police. At their regular meeting on May 6th which runs from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., the City Council hopes to adopt a resolution to officially recognize National Police Week in Lawrenceville. And from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on May 9th, they have partnered with Cosmos Pizza for “Pizza with Police”, an event where local officers will take time out of their schedules to talk with the public and show off their cars and tools. There will be a free slice of pizza and cupcakes from Blue Rooster available on a first come first served basis. For more details, visit: https://www.lawrencevillega.org/Calendar.aspx.
“I think the timing is important,” said Jeff West, who is a former law enforcer and a current resident at Cornerstone. There’s a need to support our law enforcement. It’s a tough job, and it’s only getting harder. We need to support all our public servants including law enforcement and even firefighters.”
Besides residential areas, local businesses Cornerstone Coworking and NovoLogic have participated in the Campaign. Passersby’s are welcome to stroll the neighborhood to see the night-time spectacle at the corner of the square in downtown Lawrenceville.
“Our staff is energized, and the police department is energized for the recognition. We’re all so overwhelmed by the sense of community and participation, “Sherman said. “It’s all very exciting, and we want to thank everyone who participated and encourage those who didn’t to do so next year. We’re going to go even bigger next year and buy more lightbulbs.”
Those hoping to participate should visit the city’s website to find a list of vendors and online sellers of the appropriate blue bulbs. The city encourages everyone to share a sense of community pride and take pictures of their lights and post them on social media using the campaign hashtag “Light Lawrenceville Blue”.