‘Up North Starts Here’

The story behind Rush City’s new banners that hang high in the downtown area—

Thanks to last year’s big road project, Rush City received a make-over, including a new Main Street complete with new light poles, benches, planters and flowers. For the city, however, something was missing in the downtown area until just a few weeks ago.

This photograph, taken by Tammy Scheffer of Creekside Photography, was used for the new banners that line the streets in downtown Rush City.

This photograph, taken by Tammy Scheffer of Creekside Photography, was used for the new banners that line the streets in downtown Rush City.

Banners hanging from the new light poles was all college intern and Rush City native Jamie Scheffer had to go on when tasked with the project. Scheffer, a planning and community development major — with an emphasis track of economic development from St. Cloud State University — welcomed the challenge through her summer internship with the city.

The first step was coming up with slogan ideas that represent Rush City.

Getting involved was the Rush City Economic Development Authority, and members of the community suggested their own slogans in response to an announcement that ran in the city’s Dateline newsletter. Later, with a polling sheet of possible slogans in hand, Scheffer invited grandparents Ceil and Leroy Shinler to conduct a vote in the community to see if one of the slogans stood out.

“Rush City … Up North Starts Here” won by a landslide, so the table was set to create a banner around the theme.

In meeting with her mother, Tammy Scheffer, Jamie Scheffer talked about the project and grew frustrated about the clip art that was available. For Tammy Scheffer, who owns Creekside Photography in Rush City, her thoughts turned to incorporating a real photograph, taken by her, on the banners.

Korey Sybrant and Tracy Shinler, avid fishermen on Rush Lake, are the subjects pictured on the new banners hanging in downtown Rush City. Photos supplied

Korey Sybrant and Tracy Shinler, avid fishermen on Rush Lake, are the subjects pictured on the new banners hanging in downtown Rush City. Photos supplied

Pondering the perfect shot, mother and daughter jumped on the idea of featuring Rush Lake and the fishing there, since both indeed reflect Rush City over the four seasons. Korey Sybrant and his fishing partner, Tracy Shinler, avid Rush Lake fishermen, agreed to be subjects in the image. With Tammy Scheffer shooting from the shoreline, the men posed on Shinler’s boat on East Rush Lake on a night that captured their silhouettes at sunset — a rather remarkable one at that.

Jamie Scheffer presented the Rush City EDA with a prototype, and the banners were created.

“This truly shows what fun a community can have with a project that showcases talented students, a talented photographer, willing fishermen and beautiful scenery,” said Maureen Sybrant, of Rush City.

A 2008 graduate of Rush City High School, Jamie Scheffer completed her internship Friday, Aug. 23, and the city of Rush City hired her back as a part-time planning and economic development assistant for the upcoming school year and possibly longer. She is entering her final year at St. Cloud State University.

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