Mar 13, 2014

What's with those smiley faces in Huron?

While driving through Huron, I have noticed smiley faces on the fences, mailboxes and all over town. Is there some significance to the smilies? Jason in Perkins Township.
Update: Santana "Tanny" Vonthron died within the past day. People are leaving notes in the comments below and the gallery of Smiles for Tanny.
Original story: Yes, the smiley faces scattered throughout Huron are displayed in support of Shawnee Elementary School principal Tanny Vonthron, who continues to battle cancer.
They started popping up this past week, and we recently printed photos in the Register.
It's a grassroots effort — no one person is in charge of the cause — and Vonthron's family members have said they are overwhelmed by the loving display of support.
To the elementary school principal, yellow symbolizes courage. The color and its trademark smiley faces are featured prominently throughout her school.
The Mailbag is a daily feature on Each weekday at noon, we will post one question from a reader and answer it. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or email Please include your first name and a location in the email, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."



Unfortunately that nice woman Tanny, lost her battle this morning.


They are signs of community support for our beloved Tanny, principal of Shawnee Elementary, who is going through some medical challenges. Please keep her in your prayers and blessings to all. You may have seen her in her yellow Volkswagon Beetle as she has smiley faces on it. Honk when you drive past the school.


I had no idea when I wrote that, but honk anyway!


Oh no.
May God Bless her family.
The things people said about her made me smile a time or two myself.


I think I can speak for just about anyone that ever knew her that she was the most special person we knew. Always looked for the positive in people, always hopeful and optimistic, and always made others feel so special. She was a rare gift and I am glad I had the pleasure of knowing her.