In February 2009, a speaker at an annual Chamber of Commerce event in Reno County listed several index measures for the county to consider: cost of lifestyle, around town, vitality, learning, earning, and after hours. Two of these areas were considered strengths (cost of lifestyle and around town), but the rest needed some work. Residents were invited to a large gathering where they focused not on the problems in the remaining five areas, but on which of these areas sparked a passion for doing something. Based on that passion and commitment to act, teams were formed for each of the five areas.
True to its name, the Vitality Team took off, concentrating on green spaces and a wellness initiative to get more people outdoors in healthy activities. Encouraged by the response to their first-ever Bike-to-Work day (which drew over 100 people), the Vitality Team soon took on bike lane access to trails throughout the county, connecting city and county trails, and sponsoring other events such as Saturday morning bike rides and a Halloween 5K run/walk that was followed by a healthy breakfast.Read more: Connecting People and Trails in Reno County
Bob Moore says it may not have meant the same thing to everyone, but he just didn’t think McPherson residents should go traipsing through the town’s cemetery.
Moore knew the difference, he said, between the popular decision that maintains the status quo, and the unpopular decision that could leave us on the outs with neighbors, but he took a stab at the proper though somewhat unpopular decision anyway.Read more: Moore Finds Comfort Outside his Comfort Zone
The voices of people who said Pratt County simply didn’t have the population or the diversity for a community fund weren’t the important voices said Dwayne Bryan, executive director of the Pratt Health Foundation.
“That, of course, motivated us to work even harder,” Bryant said.
The voices that mattered most came from some hard-to-find people who said they too could see the vision Bryant had articulated – one of the first regional community foundations in Kansas.
What’s a community foundation?Read more: Unusual Voices Engaged for Community Fund