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The black and white photographs started appearing in storefront windows last week. They pictured cute kids, sprightly seniors and familiar local personalities.

Hundreds of Brainerd area residents, some in elaborate costumes, stepped forward with their homemade signs bearing upbeat messages for the Brainerd Rotary Club’s Positive Charge campaign. A sampling of messages included “I love our lakes,” “Baseball,” “Clean air, clean fun,” “Paul Bunyan Trail — 100+miles” and “Volunteer resources.” The photos can also be seen at

Each of the participants shared an inspirational thought, boasted of the Brainerd lakes area’s qualities or highlighted one of their passions. The photographs will be displayed from Memorial Day through Labor Day when this area plays host to thousands of tourists. 

The Brainerd Rotary Club gets the credit for initiating this project. The club borrowed the idea from a similar program in Ely. Judging from number of people who were willing to be a part of the campaign there must have been a pent-up demand to talk about the good points of life in the Brainerd area.

Although the cynics may turn their noses up at the sunny messages, it certainly doesn’t hurt to emphasize the positive points of life in the Brainerd lakes area. It’s a chance to blow our own horn, to explain to the uninitiated we prefer living here rather than other parts of the state.

 After all, there are lots of reasons why there’s a steady flow of traffic into the Brainerd lakes area each Friday afternoon. Why keep them a secret?