For more than 30 years, the underground tunnel connecting the hospital to Regina Medical Center has featured a brightly painted tunnel with a "Rollercoaster through the Seasons" theme. This month, an addition was made to the mural creating a new look with the theme "Happenings throughout Hastings."
In 1986, more than 240 Girl Scouts painted the first mural as part of a Visiting Artist program, according to a Hastings Star Gazette article that year. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the mural, another 30 Girl Scouts from the Hastings and Prescott area have worked together to paint an addition.
Sandi Powers, the volunteer support coordinator at Girl Scouts River Valleys, said Girl Scouts is about being inclusive and caring for the community.
"Girl Scouts love to do things in the community, to really be involved and nurture the community in which they live, so I'm just really excited about (the mural) because it really gives the Girl Scouts the opportunity to make their mark in the community," Powers said.
Brandi Poellinger, the director of philanthropy and community engagement at Regina, organized the addition to the mural. She said the idea came to her from a coworker who suggested it one of the times they were walking through the tunnel together. From there, she reached out to the Girl Scouts.
The hospital just asked that the addition to the mural be reflective of the Hastings community. Poellinger said they wanted it to be about what brings the community together and what makes Hastings unique.
Bailey Struve, a freshman at Hastings High School, was the Girl Scout who sketched the new mural. Her sketch included various locations and events in Hastings, including the bridge, Harmony Park, the Little Free Libraries and the GaGa ball pit at Pleasant Park.
"I feel really good because I haven't done anything like this before, so it kind of gave me a chance to do a service project," Struve said.
In addition to the sketch, Struve said she was asked to find a way for the younger Girl Scouts to help with the mural. She came up with a way for them to help paint the clouds above the bridge, the flowers, the grass and even stars in the night.
"They didn't use brushes, they used their hands," Struve said. "They just took their hands, got them wet and swirled their hands around."
The mural was completed during the month of December. On Dec. 19, a reception was held at Regina Hospital for a grand reveal of the latest addition to the tunnel mural. Some of the Girl Scouts who painted the new section of the mural were in attendance along with their parents. In addition, five women who helped paint the 1986 Girl Scouts mural came out to see the latest edition and look back at the mural they helped create.
Eliza Varien, one of those women who helped paint the original tunnel mural, said she is pleased that something she helped create 30 years ago was a source of inspiration to create another mural today. She also said she hadn't seen the original mural since she helped paint it, so it was fun to see it again.
"It's really fun to know that something you did 30 years ago is still part of the community," Varien said.
The troop that Varien was a part of was together from first through 12th grade, she said. She has great memories from Girl Scouts that she can still share with her old troop today.
"We were a very cohesive troop, we're all still friends," Varien said. "So it's really nice to be here (at the reception) and to see all these girls and hopefully they'll make the same kind of connections and have the same memories 30 years later."