If 2020 had a silver lining, it came in the form of a bronze sculpture.
The City of Owasso in partnership with Owasso Public Schools unveiled a new Timmy and Cindy statue outside the Owasso High School west campus on Thursday.
The project is a result of a collaborative effort between local students and City staff to commemorate the class of 2020 following a challenging year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It all started earlier last year when recent Owasso graduate Jaiden Balthrop, who was serving as both a secretary on OHS’ Senior Board and an intern in the City’s Human Resources Department at the time, got the unique idea to honor her fellow outbound seniors.
She and her team of board members decided to allocate the funds they initially raised for senior trips, competitions and other events that were canceled due to the coronavirus, and put them toward something more meaningful.
“We had all this money on hand … we didn’t want to just put it to waste,” Balthrop, 18, said. “We really wanted a way to honor our class — and the class of 2020 specifically — through something special that they can remember.”
The board’s efforts eventually led to the erection of the City’s latest statue of Timmy and Cindy. The public arts initiative started with 14 sculptures of the two children in 2004 as a decorative reminder of Owasso’s joyful and family-oriented atmosphere, and has expanded to over 40 in different areas across the community.
Thursday’s ceremony unveiled a young Timmy and Cindy sitting on a globe, etched with the words “Class of 2020,” wearing graduation hats with diplomas in hand — a new local landmark that Recreation and Culture Director Larry Langford said will leave a lasting mark on passersby.
“It’s one common cause to make our city better and to beautify our city, so it’s such a great thing,” Langford said, “and I’m so proud of our seniors for considering not only something to commemorate, but to give back to the community a well; I mean, that’s a huge deal.”
Jesse Anderson, vice president of OHS’ 2020 class, echoed Langford’s sentiments in a speech during this week’s gathering, emphasizing the importance of the new site of the statue outside the west campus.
“We picked this location in particular so it would serve as an image to incoming freshmen that no matter the challenges they face throughout high school, anything is possible,” Anderson said. “My hope for all of my peers who graduated in 2020 is that we can look back at our experiences with 20/20 vision and see how much each of us overcame and learned through the adversity we faced.”
Balthrop added, “I do think it says something to both the class and Owasso as a whole that we were able to do something so big in the middle of something so intimidating, and it was just a big step for us, and it’s a good way to honor that.”