NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WBBM) – When Naperville’s mayor invited all 147,000 of the western suburb’s residents to take part in the photo shoot for the community’s holiday card, some pictured chaos at the foot of the Millennium Carillon.
Only about 500 people actually showed up – enough to fill out the word “Peace” on the Rotary Hill backdrop (Get it — “Peace on Earth?”) but for those who braved the wind and chill Friday afternoon, it was holiday fun.
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“It’s a Napervillian thing to do,” said Frank Murphy, who bundled up for the shoot and brought friends. “You’ll find the guy with the
orange hat in the middle of the “A” and that’s me.”
Mayor George Pradel ordered the photo posted immediately in downloadable form on the city’s Web site. Pradel, who was the local police department’s “Officer Friendly” before being elected mayor, said the turnout was not so important as the message and the camaraderie.
“It’s a great day,” he said with a chuckle. “With the economy going south and whatever, this is a good opportunity for people to think about something else and put some joy into their life.”
Carols peeled forth from the carillon as the group shot was organized. About a dozen photographers stood atop the carillon to catch the moment.
Down below, Waheed Zafer already knew what he would do when he returned home.
“I will take a magnifying glass and look for myself,” he said.
Pradel said Naperville lacks the budget to print the card and mail it, but said his e-mail card list includes Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and President Barack Obama.
“We’re just going to have a great time letting everyone know that in Naperville, we are concerned about peace,” he said.
Nancy and Mike Walsh said they intend to print and mail the card to family and friends from as far away as Arizona, Nevada and Turkey.
“Because Naperville is a community of people who care about others,” she said.