Illinois man gifts 23 hand-crafted crosses to Beauregard community

2019-03-06 Tornadoes hit Lee County

By Morgan Bryce
​and Robert Noles

An Illinois man has gifted 23 hand-crafted wooden crosses to the Beauregard community as a way of commemorating and honoring the lives lost during Sunday’s tornadoes.

Aurora resident Greg Zanis, founder of the nonprofit Crosses for Losses, made the more than 12-hour drive and arrived this afternoon, distributing the crosses to family members and friends of the victims.

One of those family members was Rosalind Tolbert, who lost seven relatives during Sunday’s storms. Living only a few minutes away from one of the most affected areas, she said she is still processing the events of the last 72 hours and what it will mean for the community moving forward.

“I’m going to miss seeing the kids play (out there). Looking at everything, it just seems so different … it looks like somebody shredded our neighborhood and made confetti out of everything,” Tolbert said.

Since 1997, Zanis and his team have “placed more than 26,000 white wooden crosses and other memorials for the public and the families of crime victims as well as accident victims,” according to the nonprofit’s website.

For more information about the organization, visit


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