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1,000 origami cranes up for “adoption” this weekend

Courtesy STL Crane Project

Art Hill in Forest Park is the temporary home for 1,000 origami cranes this weekend. 

More than 100 volunteers helped make the cranes, which can be “adopted” for $10 each at 10 a.m. Sunday. 

The proceeds go to benefit Backstoppers, a local charity that assists the families of public safety workers who die in the line of duty. 

Rick Ruderer organized the event for STL Crane Project, a local non-profit, and said even though they were rained out this morning, his spirits haven’t been dampened.

“Everyone has been terrific about postponing and redoing the ceremony and the event,” Ruderer said.  “The Gateway Men’s Chorus is coming back tomorrow at ten in the morning to actually do the event as planned, that was rained out.  And my spirits are slightly dampened since the cranes are, but I hope they dry out and will look very impressive tomorrow.”

He was inspired by the symbolism of 1,000 cranes, which Ruderer said are used in memorials around the world.

“I knew the legend of 1,000 cranes, I had seen them, and I had worked in the print industry for part of my career," Ruderer said.  "so, I was familiar with large paper, and I looked at the small cranes that I saw and thought these would be wonderful if they were a really large scale and put up on Art Hill.  And that was it, but I learned how to fold cranes to do this.”    

Ruderer hopes to raise $10,000 for Backstoppers, and said it took about four months to put together the event.  

Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.

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