- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

NEOLA, Iowa (AP) - After successfully creating a trio of crosses along Interstate 80 back in June, the Neola Lions Club chapter is now planning to illuminate them for people driving at night.

The chapter was inspired by Crosses Across America, a nonprofit group that has helped raise more than 2,000 clusters of crosses nationwide, The Daily Nonpareil (http://bit.ly/2jD2l5Q ) reports. After learning about the organization, Neola Lions Club President Fred Rodenburg presented the idea of the 36-foot high Neola crosses to the chapter. Rodenburg says the estimated cost of the project was about $1,000 and came from the Lions Club.

“It’s a unique thing. It’s not dedicated to anyone or a big donor,” said Rodenburg. “We just wanted to do it.”

Local farmer Les Clark, whose property overlooks the interstate, has granted Rodenburg’s club permission to use it for the effort.

The group is raising funds to illuminate the structures. Rodenburg said there is no overarching or grand theme for what they’re doing.

“That’s the uniqueness of this thing: Why not put up crosses?” Rodenburg said. “We just wanted to do it and thought it’d be a good thing for the community. And we had a perfect spot for it. It’s a cool thing to do.”

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com

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