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Inspirational rocks have become very popular locally

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lori Laine holds a rock she painted of fairies today with a group of friends at Shay's in Albion. She is thinking of a message to go with the rock. She started the Albion rock-painting effort and “Albion Rocks” Facebook page about a month ago. Many people have posted on the page when they find painted rocks around town.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 August 2017 at 10:43 pm

ALBION – A month ago Lori Laine placed five rocks she painted around town. She left one at the Courthouse, another by Hoag Library. She set one by the mailbox outside the Post Office. They were all in plain sight.

She made whimsical rocks with uplifting messages. On the back she urged the finder to post a picture on a new Facebook page, “Albion Rocks.”

Three of the rocks were found right away and the finders posted pictures on Facebook. Laine put out more rocks, and others did, too.

Evie Meadows of Oakfield painted this rock today with the message to “Shine Your Light,” which she took from Matthew 5:16 in The Bible.

The “Kindness Rocks” phenomenon has spread in many communities, including Albion, Kendall, Lyndonville and other nearby towns. Laine found a painted rock in Brockport a month ago and decided to start a similar effort in Albion.

Many local parents, their children and even Albion business owners have embraced the cause.

“It’s great to see parents and their kids walking around looking for the rocks. They’re having fun with it,” Laine said.

She organized a rock-painting group today from 4 to 7 p.m. at Shay’s. Laine painted the base coat on many rocks so people wouldn’t have to wait for the base to dry.

Patty Coffee paints this rock urging people to adopt a pet.

The “Albion Rocks” Facebook page shows people with rocks at Mount Albion Cemetery, on main Street, at the gas station, in a Wal-Mart shopping cart, on the button at an Albion cross walk, at the school and numerous other spots.

Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade Gift Shop and president of the Albion Merchants Association, said the rock project has more people coming downtown.

She enjoys seeing so many people having fun, looking for the rocks and posting on Facebook.

These rocks are painted (some with stickers) and will be put out in Albion for people to find.

When people find a rock, they are encouraged to take a picture and post on Facebook. They also are urged to re-hide the rock in Albion, although Laine said some of the messages really resonate with the finder and want to keep the rock, and that is OK.

The rock include many upbeat messages, such as “Believe in yourself”, “Keep Life Simple”, and “Be Calm, Be Strong, Be Grateful!”

Evie Meadows came from Oakfield today to join the rock-painting party at Shay’s.

“I thought it was a really neat idea to leave something inspiring,” she said. “Someone might need that message that day.”

She painted a rock with a lighthouse and the message, “Shine your light.”

Kimberly Zambito-Dutton painted this rock with Minion stickers. The Kent resident said painting the rocks is fun, especially with other people.

“It’s a good feeling whether you’re a kid or adult,” she said. “Whoever finds it, it will put a smile on your face.”

She is friends with Laine, and is pleased to see the project develop a following in Albion.

“Lori is a blessing to this community,” Zambito-Dutton said.

Katie Harvey, Lori Laine’s daughter, works on a rock with a beach scene. The rock painters said they have more intricate designs from their first few rocks.

A group gathered at Shay’s to paint rocks from 4 to 7 p.m. today.

Lisa Hickein works on some rocks. She painted one with a message, “Scatter Kindness Like Wildflowers.”

Lori Laine painted the base colors on many rocks so people wouldn’t have to wait for the base to dry before doing their main design.

Laine works on a rock with a house theme.

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