True Mary Ann Ryan, Christina Goveia, Lisa Sipes and Donna M. Gigli-Quick put posters inside sleeves to protect them from the weather during P.U.M.P. for Lauren Spierer on Saturday outside Smallwood Plaza in Bloomington, Ind. The event organizers cleared the poster push with Lauren's parents, Robert and Charlene, but the group said it was an independent effort. Alex Farris
P.U.M.P. for Lauren Spierer | Alex Farris Photo Blog
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2011.11.07
It's been five months since a missing IU student spawned national coverage, community action and my most difficult assignment. Since that time, I've ended my time with the IDS, I moved back to Indianapolis, I became a substitute teacher, and I returned to my old job as an orthopedic research assistant at St. Francis Hospital in Mooresville. I come back to visit Bloomington sometimes, though, largely because my awesome girlfriend lives there. A visit with her brought me back to the story of Lauren Spierer.

A group of people have been moved by Lauren's disappearance beyond what most people show. This group has become the collective mother of community efforts to keep Lauren in people's minds. (It's appropriate enough, since I'm guessing most of them are mothers or know a lot of motherhood.) On Saturday, they put up more posters (P.U.M.P.) for Lauren after meeting at her apartment complex, Smallwood Plaza. There are already a lot of signs with Lauren's face and information on light posts, windows, cars and lawns around Bloomington, and after five months it seems to some that it's too much for how much time has passed. (One anonymous writer said as much in a letter to Charlene Spierer, and in her response she said, "Believe me, I wish we had never had to hang one single poster for our missing child.")

Despite the length of time, the group is still out there, still reminding people that there is a woman missing.

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Mary Ann Ryan, Christina Goveia, Lisa Sipes and Donna M. Gigli-Quick put posters inside sleeves to protect them from the weather during P.U.M.P. for Lauren Spierer on Saturday outside Smallwood Plaza in Bloomington, Ind. The event organizers cleared the poster push with Lauren's parents, Robert and Charlene, but the group said it was an independent effort. Alex Farris
Donna Quick gets posters in order. About four or five students helped in the event, but most were adult women who were members of the Voices for Lauren Spierer Facebook group. Alex Farris
"People keep asking me, ‘Why are you still doing this?’" Nashville, Ind., resident Ellen Carter said. She said that when asked that question, she holds up my photo and responds, "That's why." Alex Farris
Joe Bailey draws posting routes on city maps. Alex Farris
Suzanne May pets Lisa Sipes' dog, who is wearing a ribbon with the URL findlauren.com and the Twitter hashtag #FindLauren. Alex Farris
Joe Bailey and Mary Ann Ryan stayed at the table while other groups posted fliers around the city. Alex Farris
Kristen Mills shows the poster on her van's window. Alex Farris
Kristen Mills (pointing) and Mary Ann Ryan discuss where to hang posters. Alex Farris
Donna Quick and Kristen Mills tape a poster to the inside of a bus stop near Smallwood Plaza. Alex Farris
The event also consisted of replacing posters that had been torn by other people or the weather. Alex Farris
Tracy Claycamp makes sure that her sign stays taped to an electric box at the corner of 11th Street and College Avenue, which is where Lauren was reportedly last seen. Alex Farris
Tracy Claycamp and Donna Quick staple a sign to a pole. Alex Farris
Kristen Mills hangs a sign on a fence along 11th Street near College Avenue. Alex Farris

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THINGS WE SAID TODAY Lauren Spierer | Bloomington | IU
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