Little June Laughbaum walked out of Clinton Elementary School on her last day May 31 and into the arms of her mother, Laura, who was wearing a kangaroo costume at the time.

Well, somebody had to do it.

"It's hot, but it's not too bad," Laura Laughbaum said.

Laughbaum said she volunteered to don the marsupial outfit because, really, this whole kangaroo thing is pretty much the fault of her husband, Jared.

What began years ago with the Columbus City Schools teacher putting up a whimsical "kangaroo-crossing" sign on Clinton Heights Avenue, not far from the school, concluded last week with the formal unveiling of the sign in its permanent location, facing out from the school's playground.

When city personnel -- alerted to the presence of the very mild protest sign that had replaced a seemingly abandoned one for a long-completed construction project -- removed it from the public right-of-way March 12, it seemed to ignite something within the hearts of many who hold Clintonville near and dear:

"Our kangaroo-crossing sign? Oh, no you don't!"

"Never Forget" placards popped up around Clintonville, and funds were raised to put the sign back where it had been, but that plan was abandoned in favor of what marsupial supporter Scott Hammond called a "creative solution to the problem."

The original sign, which city officials returned to Jared Laughbaum, was erected on the final day of the academic year at the nearby school, where there is now some sentiment for changing the mascot from the Cubs to, of course, the Kangaroos.

During the ceremony, which was part of Clinton Elementary School's annual Lunch on the Lawn event, not only was Laura Laughbaum on hand as Clint the Kangaroo, but a representative from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also was present to accept a check for $165 for its kangaroo exhibit.

The money came from a GoFundMe account originally set up to cover the cost of a replacement sign.

"I'm proud of my neighbors," Hammond said.

Council President Pro Tem Michael Stinziano attended the sign's dedication ceremony and admitted city officials could have handled the situation with a little more humor when it came to the neighborhood quirk.

Jared Laughbaum said he was grateful his wife volunteered to be Clint that day.

"She was like, 'I can do that,' and I said, 'Great, we need someone,' " he said.

Clint the Kangaroo is expected to make a second appearance July 4 in the Short North's DooDah Parade.

Another person attending the event was Ann Miller-Tobin, a former Clinton Heights Avenue resident whose question to WOSU Radio led to the sign's removal when it was brought to the attention of city officials.

"I don't believe I'll ever be curious again," said Miller-Tobin, who now lives in Grove City.

"This brings me hope," said Jenny Suchland, parent of a Clinton Elementary School student and a neighbor of the Laughbaums.

She said she sees the neighborhood's kangaroo support as saying something special about the people who live in the community.