High school senior cheers up Danville by hanging smiley faces

In this year of COVID-19, there may not be much to smile about these days. Except maybe in Danville.

Downtown is now dotted with smiley face signs. And people are taking notice.

"It's great. Especially in the time we are living in. We can all use a little cheer," says resident Niki Hall

The signs are all hand-crafted in the home workshop of 17-year-old San Ramon Valley High School senior Aidan Cox.

"I think everyone is a little down about no school and everything is closed. I thought a smiley face would cheer people up a little bit," Cox said.

Aidan has created and hung about 20 signs so far. The first was in his neighborhood in Alamo.

The signs are made of plywood and each one takes days to complete.

"Ever since I was a kid I always signed my name with a smiley face. I always loved smiley face emojis. I figured let's just start out with this," Cox says.

Those who walk or drive by seem to appreciate the simple sentiment. Aidan's handy work has gotten a mention on the Facebook page of the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce.

"This is a perfect way this student has come up with. A way to make people happy. And I think people need a little pick up this time of year," says chamber CEO Judy Lloyd.

The chamber hopes the signs will help draw people to the area and perhaps local restaurants for take-out.

Elected officials are also applauding the teenager.

"Hats off to this guy for doing a good job of bringing enthusiasm and trying to spread cheer at a time when many people might not be so cheerful. Well done," said Danville Vice-Mayor Newell Arnerich.

"I feel really proud when I'm driving by and see them I think I did this myself. And it makes other people happy. I'm planning to keep doing it. Spread further out to other towns. And keep going," says Cox.