Sauk Valley groups to honor COVID-19 casualties, promote unity

DIXON – A special luminary event to commemorate lives lost to COVID-19 and to promote unity in the community will take place Tuesday.

Action for a Better Tomorrow Sauk Valley, Sauk Valley Unites, and the YWCA of the Sauk Valley will be hosting a communitywide event titled Remember Reflect Renew at 4:30 p.m.

“The purpose of this event is to honor those we have lost too soon due to the virus, to recognize the many local community members who have worked so hard to keep all of us as safe and informed as possible, and to work toward reunifying communities divided by differences of opinion on how to respond to the threat of the virus,” said Sarah Bingaman, of ABT Sauk Valley.

The group decided it was important to mark a unique time point in history, the turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

“We have all been through a lot together. Now that more and more people are able to be vaccinated, there is great hope that in 2021 we will once again be able to enjoy gatherings of family and friends,” Bingaman said.

Community members are invited to create luminary displays, and ABT will be placing milk jug luminaries on the wall around the old Lee County Courthouse from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Churches will ring bells at 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday falls between the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and the first day of a new presidential administration.

“It is a day to look back in appreciation and look forward in anticipation of better days,” Bingaman said.

Sauk Valley Unites was formed last year as a nonpartisan partnership calling communities to come together to seek common ground and discourage polarization, to advocate for everyone being a good neighbor and community member, and to promote peaceful elections and safeguard the democratic process.

More than 25 area organizations have joined. Go to www,saukvalleyunites.us to learn more.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.