Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, California High School seniors haven't quite had the senior year they were expecting.
Local businesses have decided to rally behind the class of 2020 to show their support by spotlighting seniors and sporting their Pinto Pride in their windows. The community continues to come together to show how strong and understanding it is toward the students of California, with this representing the latest effort.
"We've just been painting the town red, white and blue for the Pintos to show them some support," Something Sassy Beauty Salon owner Stephanie Stokes, one of the individuals behind the idea, said.
Elevate Fitness Studio owner Jenny Cain said businesses will spotlight students on their social media pages and in business windows to show them a bit of extra love and support during what has been a difficult time.
"We want them to know that they can count on their community to help them through this disappointing time where they are not able to fulfill the rest of their high school careers," Cain said. "Elevate Fitness Studio is honoring all class of 2020 seniors, near and far."
Specifically, Cain said she is highlighting her younger brother, Dalton Oerly, a Jamestown High School senior, as well as her niece, Hailey Cain, and cousin, Spencer Messerli, both seniors at CHS, and another cousin, Tabitha Imhoff, a senior at nearby Helias High School.
"We want all of our seniors to know we are proud of them and share in their frustration and sadness due to the pandemic," Cain said. "We also want them to realize this is but a bump in the road, and we will get through this together and continue to support them and cheer them on as they move onto the next phase of their lives, hopefully, this fall."
Grace Designs is also showcasing support for Messerli, who will be serving in the army.
"We chose Spencer because not only is he our manager, Penny's nephew, but he is also an incredible young man who has a great heart of gold and is willing to help anyone when there is a need," Grace Designs co-owner Becki Collier said. "His next chapter is serving our country in the United States Army, and we are so very proud of him for making that sacrifice. We are honored to be able to spotlight him during this time."
Collier said her business chose to participate because they know how important some of the senior memories that are being missed are to young adults.
"They are missing out on milestones and experiences that most of us all got to enjoy as we closed out our high school chapters and began the next chapter of our lives," Collier said. "These young men and women were robbed of those experiences this year so we just wanted to be able to do something that would give them some good memories of the end of their high school chapter."
Some seniors are even getting a chance to decorate the windows themselves. Winding Road Gifts and Interiors owner Julie Bolinger said she offered a window to her nephew, Clayton Winkler.
"(And) my sales associate, Melanie Porter, did one for her son," Bolinger said. "I opened the rest of the windows up to any senior who wants one and put a post out on my store page to announce it. We still have windows available for more seniors if they want one. We just wanted to give them a chance to do something themselves."
Though there are businesses choosing to spotlight specific seniors, others are choosing to show Pinto Pride for the whole class, including Grind. Owner Chelsea McGill said she's having a member of the class of 2020 lead the charge.
"I have a senior who will be decorating my four windows to show our support for the 2020 seniors," McGill said. "In an effort to not leave anyone out, I decided to show Pinto Pride for the seniors rather than specifically adopting four seniors since there are 94 total."