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Group gathers to spread happiness, positivity in university area

Erin Killion, right, and her family gathered with about two dozen others to spread happiness in the "Happiness Sprinkling Project" event along Central Avenue on Saturday afternoon. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Erin Killion, right, and her family gathered with about two dozen others to spread happiness in the “Happiness Sprinkling Project” event along Central Avenue on Saturday afternoon. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Amid all the terrible news of crime and chaos in the city and the rest of the world recently, Albuquerque drivers got a dose of happiness from a couple dozen positive picketers who waved supportive and encouraging signs near the University of New Mexico early Saturday afternoon.

Heather Hutzell, holder of the "You Are Enough" sign, is a UNM student who organized the "Happiness Sprinkling Project" event Saturday near the university. The event drew at least 25 people, she said. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Heather Hutzell, holder of the “You Are Enough” sign, is a UNM student who organized the “Happiness Sprinkling Project” event Saturday near the university. The event drew at least 25 people, she said. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

University of New Mexico student Heather Hutzell, a strategic communications major, organized the “Happiness Sprinkling Project” event as a project for her social marketing class.

She used social media and other tools to gather people to Central Avenue and handed them signs that said, for example, “Be You,” “You are Loved” and “It’s going to be okay.”

The signs have been passed along to organizers for similar events all over the country.

Hutzell said the event was aimed at counteracting negativity that is broadcast by news media and deeply felt by people in Albuquerque and elsewhere.

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Instead, Hutzell, who is set to graduate in December, said people need to embrace positivity.

“This is the kind of stuff that our city needs right now,” Hutzell said.

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