Dave Stewart and Toni Kutasevich weren’t much in the Halloween spirit until a random act of kindness landed at their feet.

Kutasevich spotted a rock painted bright orange with a jack-o-lantern smile and a “Happy Halloween” message sitting centerstage on the base of their sons’ basketball hoop — at the end of their Denfeld-neighborhood driveway.

Kutasevich was with their neighbors when she made the discovery. “It was such a sweet gesture. It definitely put a smile on all of our faces.

“The neighbor ladies were very jealous,” Kutasevich said, adding, “It was an odd little find that opened up everything for us.”

She found the rock Sunday morning, and the next day, the family decorated their home for Halloween.

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Toni Kutasevich holds the decorated rock she found on the base of her family’s basketball hoop. They don’t know who left it.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune
Toni Kutasevich holds the decorated rock she found on the base of her family’s basketball hoop. They don’t know who left it. Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune

“The holidays feel like a lost time the past few years,” Stewart said.

“It’s nice to see someone take a little time out of their day to try and make someone else’s day a little bit better. All you ever hear about is the negative parts of our world. It is nice to have a good soul spread some holiday fun.”

And that sentiment has spread.

Neighbor Amy Kokotovich was there for the discovery with her children, and it was the first time her daughter had seen a rock painted this way and a gesture like this.

“My daughter told me, it was nice to see Halloween spirit around the neighborhood,” Kokotovich said. “It means a lot to me since everyone can come together and show support for each other and try to keep high spirits up.”

Whoever dropped the rock likely experienced the feel-goods. The act of helping others releases oxytocin and activates the part of your brain that makes you feel pleasure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Asked if they had a lead on any "suspects,” Stewart and Kutasevich said “no,” but they’d like to.

The back of the rock wishes a Happy Halloween. 
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune
The back of the rock wishes a Happy Halloween. Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune

“For curiosity’s sake,” said Kutasevich.

“I’d want to give them a couple dollars to help with supplies to do it for other people,” added Stewart.

They said the rock’s placement speaks to the person’s intention. If they’d left it somewhere less obvious as the basketball base, they might not have seen it.

This experience has encouraged Stewart to slow down. “Be on the lookout for the little things,” he said.

Have good news of your own? Tell us about it. Email mlavine@duluthnews.com.