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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of schools are leaving the lights on at football and baseball stadiums, even with their seasons on hold, as part of the “Be The Light Minnesota” initiative.

At businesses across Montevideo, customers have been replaced by hearts. They are symbols of hope for a town praying for brighter days.

“They’re struggling. Not as easy as they were thinking it would be that they’d just get to stay home. But they’re getting through it,” Montevideo senior Tyler Blue said.

The baseball team was supposed to play their season opener on Monday. A blizzard kept them off the field for a couple of games last year, but the season is even further away this year, thanks to an opponent they can’t even see.

“My gut feeling told me that I wasn’t going to have a senior baseball season this year,” Blue said.

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For the seniors, it’s like being on the wrong end of a no-hitter.

“All my friends love playing baseball, and they’re kinda just sad they can’t be out here playing,” Montevideo senior Cade Weber said.

But the boys of summer refuse to allow their town to be left in the dark.

“We wanted to make it inclusive to everybody, so we decided to do one minute for every school day that we miss,” assistant principal Chris Weber said.

On Monday night, they turned the lights on for 15 minutes. They will add another minute each night until school returns.

“It gives us hope, and just helps the community out. It gives us positive vibes,” Blue said.

For now, it’s a field of dreams, but there’s optimism that soon those dreams will become reality.

“We’re all in it together. Everybody comes out. This town is good to support each other. Everybody’s in this together and we’re going to see it through together, too,” Chris Weber said.

Another way Montevideo is coming together is by drive-by birthday parties. The fire department will come by with lights and sirens for kids.

John Lauritsen

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