The word "blue" often symbolizes sadness, but that color is giving strength to neighbors of a Fountain-area boy missing since Monday afternoon.
Businesses, homeowners, and neighbors have spent the last few days placing blue lights, ribbons and bows on and around the home of Gannon Stauch, 11, in the Lorson Ranch subdivision.
On Friday, blue materials were clearly visible on light posts, railings, signs, trees and along streets in the area; exterior home lights and lighting at the subdivision's main entrance glowed blue at night.
"His favorite color is blue," said Sara Robertson, who helped organize the effort. "It's just kind of a guiding light to (tell) Gannon (to) come home. We're all here for (him)."
The "blue wave" began Wednesday night when the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Fountain turned its exterior trim lights blue.
"We can do it easily, quickly and automatically," said owner-operator Kyle Morgan. "Many of our customers asked us about it and what it meant. We're part of the community and we always want to help. The more people we can get the word out to about Gannon, the better."
The spread of blue continued Thursday and was more apparent Friday as neighbors met to donate blue items at the same place where a massive volunteer search was organized Wednesday.
"We'll ask more people and businesses to get involved," said Alex Stowell, a volunteer. "We'll keep the blue up until Gannon comes home or we find out what happened to him. It's our way of showing support for him and his family."
The ranch's homeowners' association also got involved by donating several strings of leftover Christmas lights to the cause.
Several neighbors said it felt good to get out and so something to show support, instead of wondering and worrying about Gannon.
Mark Ewell, Director of Sales and Marketing for St. Aubyn Homes, summed up the situation for many when he said: "Everyone in Lorson Ranch is close. We're all like a family. We care about each other. This is the time to show it."