Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Beyond the final rose, a billboard message that really matters March 14, 2018


Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


DO PEOPLE NOTICE billboards? Apparently yes, if based on all the media hype last week about billboards supporting Becca Kufrin, the young Prior Lake woman dumped by bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. From LA to Minnesota to Times Square, digital billboards proclaimed their love for this Minnesotan to whom Arie initially proposed during the reality TV show The Bachelor.

While it’s nice to read that Minnesota Nice message—Becca—You’ll always have a rose from Minnesota—there are much more important public messages that should grab our attention.



That includes a billboard just north of Faribault along Interstate 35 which promotes texting 911. In December, Minnesota rolled out this option to reach emergency services in our state. For those with a hearing loss, the texting option is a valuable tool.

But it’s valuable to others, too, including victims of domestic abuse and violence. In many cases, they may be unable to safely call, and talk to, a 911 dispatcher. Texting offers an option, one that could save a life.

We need to care as much about domestic abuse and violence as we do some reality TV show and whether or not someone gets a rose.

FYI: Click here to learn more about Minnesota’s 911 texting system.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


17 Responses to “Beyond the final rose, a billboard message that really matters”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    I am surprised that billboards have hung around as long as they have. Digital billboards breathed some new life into them I think. They were a bit controversial when they first debuted *distraction*. I grew up with them and always notice them in my travels. At times they are selling you something and other times alerting to you a local attraction. Still other times they contain important messages, such as the one you’ve posted.

  2. Almost Iowa Says:

    It is about time.

  3. Littlesundog Says:

    “Text To-911” Those are the kinds of messages that MATTER!!

  4. Valerie Says:

    I agree that this is a good message and good to know we can text 9-1-1 if needed.
    I’m wondering how you got the picture of the billboard? 😉

    • I set my Canon DSLR on a fast shutter speed and took the photo while we were driving by the billboard at interstate speed, me in the passenger seat. I take a lot of on-the-road photos like this. Sometimes they turn out, sometimes not. It’s a matter of the focus, timing, etc., being just right. I’ve learned to anticipate the moment I should click the shutter button. I’m always watching for photo ops.

  5. Don Says:

    I appreciate a well thought out and interesting billboard whether it is sending a message or advertising something. The Wall drugs billboards come to mind some good some not so good but there were sure a lot of them! Here in Alaska billboards are outlawed so we don’t see any except those that are way off the highway on some ones private property.

  6. Jackie Says:

    I love the option to text 9-1-1. I’m surprised it took so long to make this available. Hopefully it will results in many saved lives!

  7. chlost Says:

    And I just don’t understand all the hoopla about the Bachelor show. I don’t watch it, think it’s stupid to pick a partner as part of a reality show. But beyond that, how does it become such a huge thing that this guy was a jerk to a Minnesotan? Happens all of the time, and there are no billboards, or legislation being proposed to keep the jerk out of the state. If we could really do that, I have some others who should be higher on the list of those to ban from the state. I also take a lot of photos from the car as we drive along. Hard to get a good shot like that one!

    • I agree with everything you write here. I will admit, though, to watching the finale of The Bachelor, but only because of the Minnesotan. And I watched a few episodes when a man from Iowa was on the show. But you’re right about your assessment. The proposed legislation was ridiculous, even if done in jest.

  8. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    That’s a great option for domestic abuse victims

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