WELLAND, Ontario (KSDK) – When she saw pieces of plywood with a pink heart staked into the ground across town, reporter Maryanne Firth did what any good journalist would do: she started looking for answers.
"They were bright. They contained no message. They were everywhere. My curiosity was piqued," she said.
So, she did what pretty much any enterprising 21st century journalist would do, and crowdsourced for information on Twitter:
One of the signs included an address and a time: Chippawa Park on Sunday at 3 p.m. She had her story.
She arrived at the park on the designated date and time to find a man handing out flowers while wearing a box – with the pink heart – painted over his head.
He was handing out flowers to onlookers with what I can only imagine was a smile behind his cardboard disguise.
He handed one to me — a sweet, but familiar gesture — and then continued passing them out to others.
Then he gathered up the remaining flowers into a bouquet and turned to me.
He removed the disguise.
This was the man who I've loved for the past eight years. Who I've built a life with.
This was all for me.
Ryan got down on one knee and as I tried unsuccessfully to hold back tears, he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.
No pressure, right?
Of course I was ecstatic. Shaking. Crying. Of course I said Yes!
When the park cleared out, Firth remembered that she had a story to write and a deadline to hit.
"Sure is hard to cover a story when it turns out the news is you," she said.