Athletic facilities across Minnesota will see their lights turned on Monday night in a show of unity for the thousands of high school athletes who saw their seasons cut short or flat out canceled by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Be The Light Minnesota will take place at high school athletic facilities all over the state between 8 and 9 p.m., and according to John Millea of the Minnesota State High School League, who's tracked more than 150 schools that have committed to participating, with the number growing as word spreads.
Millea wrote in his journal that the idea was sparked by a Texas high school March 24. The idea has since swept the nation, now making it's way to Minnesota as the lights represent a beacon of hope for high school athletes who lost a chance to compete with classmates, many of them seniors who will graduate and go separate ways.
"It has been incredible to see so many schools join in this effort to show support for and solidarity with their students, staff and communities. Lights have gone on at football/soccer/lacrosse stadiums, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, all over the state," wrote Millea.
Among the 150+ schools participating is Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, located about 80 miles west of the Twin Cities: “Three towns, united as one, shining bright with hope," the school wrote in its announcement.
Gathering at the stadiums, fields and courts won't be allowed, per social distancing guidelines that help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but anyone who wants to partake in the ceremony can drive by or stay in their vehicles while the lights are flipped on.
You can find the full list of participating schools on the MSHSL Facebook page here.