When Rail Brand and his sister Lisa put their heads together, you never know what creativity will happen! Earlier this spring, Co-Liner LeAnn Hjelmeland put a few designs to paper for some signs Lisa could give to some of her favorite nurses and people she met at Mayo during the weeks of her cancer treatments. Fast forward a few short months, and Rail was having the nesters nest up hundreds more of these signs as they had space on the laser sheet. As pallets of these signs were being cut, no one at Co-Line really knew what the plan was. On July 3, Lisa lost her fight against cancer surrounded by family at the Comfort House in Pella. Rail and Lisa’s husband, Ron Jansen, quickly moved forward with the plan to hand out a steel “choose joy” sign to all who attended Lisa’s visitation and funeral. Always a party planner herself, Lisa would have approved of a party favor at her celebration of life!P
However, the hundreds of signs that had been laser cut, were not painted and some weren’t even bent yet. On the eve of a long four-day holiday weekend, Co-Liners teamed together and made the impossible possible. The press brake guys got right on the signs that needed bent the afternoon of July 3. Teal, one of the colors representing the type of cancer Lisa had, was the chosen color. However, teal is not one of Co-Line’s colors in stock. Tony Van Wyk made a call to Diamond Vogel Paint Rep, Dan Popma, and Dan had the paint mixed and delivered before end of day, another feat that seemed impossible! And to top it off, Diamond Vogel donated the special paint to the cause. Tony, Josh Nikkel, and Joel Struik stayed after hours on Wednesday to get the painting done on over 1,000 Choose Joy signs. Cory Brand also needed to cut and print hundreds of vinyl stickers to apply to one of the sign designs.
On Saturday morning, another amazing feat happened, Rail, Tana, Eric, Faye, Carter, Abigail, Cory, Heidi, Braxton, Breckyn, Brooks, and Briar Brand teamed up and packaged and applied a vinyl sticker to 100’s of the signs! A true assembly line, indeed! The jury is still out, but Rail and his numerous “breaks” giving the grandkids golf cart rides might have been our production constraint that morning. The signs were then hauled to Pella Third Reformed Church awaiting the chance to spread joy to everyone who knew Lisa.
Over 1,000 signs have been handed out and there are still more! If any Co-Liner would like one or would like to give one to someone that has impacted their life in honor of one amazing woman, our sister, aunt, daughter, friend, mom, and wife, Lisa Jansen, please stop at the office and pick one up. Several unique stories have been told since these signs hit the streets of Pella and surrounding communities. One was even spotted attached to a hitch of a pickup in Pella recently!
Thank you to all who helped make the steel choose joy signs a reality. The Brand family appreciates your prayers, words of encouragement and sympathy, random act of kindness, memorial gifts, and most of all understanding as we figure out our new normal without our amazing Lisa!