A city in southern Ontario was buzzing for several weeks about mysterious hearts that began cropping up around town. The local newspaper put a reporter on the trail, but it’s likely no one was prepared for what this reporter uncovered at the end of her month-long investigation.
In Welland, Canada, wooden stakes with pink hearts were posted on many busy roadways for everyone to see. Maryanne Firth with the Welland Tribune went to the usual suspects — feel-good groups and artists — but found no one claiming to be the source of the hearts:
“It’s absolutely lovely,” Melanie Olah said of the secret initiative that has left the city puzzled.
The founder of Stay Positive — a local group that performs random acts of kindness in Welland — said she’s not involved in the project but gave credit to the anonymous heart creator.
“I love how they have withheld their name this long,” Olah said.
“It’s got everyone talking and got them thinking. They have done something so magical with such a small act.”
Olah believes the initiative has “brought the community a little closer.”
On Twitter, Firth documented the signs and encouraged others to do so as well as she continued to follow any leads.
Firth caught her big break in the story last week when new signs began to signal an event on Sunday. Despite the rain, Firth reported in her last article about the mystery hearts, many showed up to the appointed park where a masked man was handing out flowers.
Firth approached him and this is what happened:
He handed one to me — a sweet, but familiar gesture — and then continued passing them out to others.
Then he gathered up the remaining flowers into a bouquet and turned to me.
He removed the disguise.
This was the man who I’ve loved for the past eight years. Who I’ve built a life with.
This was all for me.
The man, Ryan, got down on one knee and proposed to Firth.
“Of course I said ‘Yes!'” Firth wrote.