Leadership San Marcos held its first fundraising event for their new Love Lock SMTX art installation project at the Price Center & Garden, located at 222 W. San Antonio St., on March 21.

The organization's goal is to raise $35,000 for materials and labor, with some additional funds for an inventory of locks.

"We still have some money that we need to raise, but hopefully this event will help us," said Tiffany Harris, the city's community vitality coordinator. "It's also going to be a cool sculpture that people can go and get their college graduation pictures or high school graduation pictures. Just be another cool place that people can go and get pictures and celebrate the awesomeness that is downtown San Marcos."

The art installation will be built and placed by Zelick's Icehouse, located at 336 W. Hopkins St. Leadership San Marcos will sell the locks for installation, and all of those funds will go to the Greater San Marcos Youth Council, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and other services to children who have been abused or neglected.

Leadership San Marcos started in 1985 with community projects starting in 1996. Although it has changed throughout the years, the organization is a two-year commitment. The first year typically consists of classes dedicated to learning about the city of San Marcos all while working to come up with a community project.

"San Marcos has a lot of rich history, so that's going and seeing different parts of not just the historical districts but the cemeteries or the old county courthouse," said Michelle Koehne Mehrens, board president of Leadership San Marcos. "The board asks them to have two projects because maybe the first project isn't feasible so they have a backup plan."

A Leadership San Marcos project that community members can still see today is the Matilda Bridge at Purgatory Creek.

"The idea for that was so that it could be accessible by wheelchair, ADA approved, so that everybody could enjoy not just the front third of the park but the back end of the park as well," Mehrens said.

Leadership San Marcos will host a Love Lock Launch Party and a "Walk and Lock" unveiling event in the spring.