It’s true – Escalon Rocks.
The first of what organizers hope will be an annual event, the Escalon Rocks #Kindness Matters rock painting gathering hosted at Hogan Park on Saturday, Oct. 28 saw dozens of participants join in to paint rocks. From Halloween themed rocks to minions to patriotic rocks to versions of famous paintings, the idea behind it was to offer a relaxing, fun activity. If some of those rocks included uplifting messages and were placed around the community for others to find, so much the better.
“I thought it would be a good thing to do with the family,” said John Butler, attending the rock painting with his wife Christina and their sons Ethan, 8, and Kaleb, 4.
“We like finding the rocks,” Christina added of going on some rock hunts in the community. “We thought it would be good to be on the other side of it, too.”
Organized by the leaders of Escalon Rocks, Tammy Blevins and Jamie Fontes, the two were overwhelmed with the turnout and the support they have had for their Facebook initiative. There have been rocks with the supportive messages hidden and found throughout the community and both women said it is a positive movement.
“This is awesome, people are just coming in and out, everybody’s loving it,” said Blevins.
Fontes said she found her first rock in Manteca and it sparked a desire to do something similar here.
“I brought it to Tammy and said ‘we need to start doing this’,” Fontes explained. “Now, here we are.”
That was back in July and the movement has taken off more than they could have imagined.
Rocks for the event were all donated and cleaned by RCM Power Washing and many of the painting supplies were also provided, though attendees could also bring their own.
“I like it,” 13-year-old Kiki Mertens said, having already completed four rocks by mid-afternoon.
Carl Lang painted a pumpkin rock in honor of Halloween.
“My wife wanted me to come, she paints rocks; I thought I’d give it a try,” Lang said.
Wife Gelene painted three rocks while she was there.
She said she has hidden some previously, with the inspirational messages, in the local area as well as Modesto and Manteca.
“What I do is I pray for the people who are going to find them,” she said of adding a little extra to the idea behind Escalon Rocks.
“I like that we get to paint them,” added Brizzy Martinez, 13, who planned to hide her rocks when she was all done.
Sheila Thiemann was stationed at the rock ‘quarry’ and helped make sure everyone attending was kept well supplied with the rocks to paint.
Blevins said there were also donations for prize drawings and she offered thanks to a number of volunteers who helped organize and staff the event.