What a fun fall weekend in Pott. Co. filled with food, games, and entertainment! If checking out the changing leaves isn’t enough for you, that’s okay – we have a variety of plans for your weekend!
It all starts off on Friday night with a busy evening in Treynor! From 5 to 7, you can attend the last Treynor Farmers Market for the year and they have a fall festival theme! They want to end the year on a high note. Then you can swing over to grab supper at Silos. Silos is hosting a fundraising night for the Treynor Post Prom as part of their Cash Mob event! $1 from each pizza sold goes to post-prom. All this week, WIDA and TS Bank are sponsoring a cash mob at Silos to support our rural Pott. Co. businesses. Dine in or carry out and if all goes well, we will be moving on to other towns and places, too!
On Saturday, the Shelby Community Club is doing their annual fundraiser from 5 to 7:30pm. It’s drive-thru pulled pork sandwiches and sides just for you with all the proceeds going to the Shelby Community Center. Cost is $8 for the full meal or $5 for the sandwich only.
Then you can make your way to Macedonia! They will have all their museums and stores open in celebration of the Grist Mill’s Ghost Stories in the Park in the Dark event which starts at 7:30pm. The entertainment will change from week to week but all will be ghost stories to put you in the Halloween spirit! For all the info on it, go to my blog about it.
Sunday brings two more fun options! Start your day with pancakes in McClelland! The McClelland Fire Department is hosting their annual pancake feed from 8am to 12:30pm at the McClelland Town Hall. They are set to socially distance and eat on-sight (or I recommend the park across the street if you prefer) or carry out is also available!
Then you can finish your day with Bingo! Who doesn’t love some bingo? From 2 to 4, you can play bingo at the Minden Community Hall. I hear it can be pretty cutthroat. Lol.
So whatever your passion, there’s something for you to do this weekend! Way to step up and offer COVID-friendly options, Pott. Co!
Blog sponsored by Western Ventures, Inc.
Macedonia is the place to be on Saturdays in October! Starting this Saturday, October 3rd, the Grist Mill will be telling ghost stories in Olde Town Park in Macedonia starting at 7:30pm every Saturday night in October. Nothing creepier than tales told next to a river in the dark on a cold October night!
Every week will be just a little different with different story-tellers and a variety of haunted stories! How cool is that? Make it to one or hit them all for a whole new experience! Grab your bag chairs or your blankets and socially distance as you hear stories that will make your skin crawl! This week, you’ll hear some Stephen King done by Gene Sanny, some Edgar Allan Poe by Karla Keener and Tim Peterson, the local tale of Oakland legend, Frank Eckels done by Sue Duhachek (which will be a regular feature), and the ‘Donia connection to the Villisca Murder House by Vince Baker. All you die-hard Halloween fans are going to be crazy mad excited about this!
Cost of admission is free will but the Grist Mill will gladly take canned food donations at the gate for the Riverside Food Pantry or a free will donation to the Grist Mill which I’m sure would be appreciated since they can’t actually do any performances in the McCready Theater due to COVID. In fact, they decided to do this event knowing that everyone still needs a little piece of entertainment in their lives right now!
In order to offer social distancing, they ask that you park outside the gates when you arrive, and they will have flashlight guides to direct you into the park.
Also, if you want to make a full night of it, be sure to head to Macedonia early as the Stempel Bird Museum and the Pioneer Trail Museum will be open from 5pm till show time! Ruby Bentley has some stories to tell and, well, the birds speak for themselves! Plus, The Painted Camel Art Gallery will also be staying open till show time. If you haven’t been there, now’s the time to go! I seriously tell people all the time that it is straight out of the Old Market and people never fully believe me till they go! They have jewelry, pottery, paintings, and, well, a little of everything else, too! And, of course, The Back Forty will be open for your pre-show “beverages” and burgers! I hear they are planning to have some specials on tap, too!
So kick off your October with a whole lotta fun in ‘Donia! They’ll be waiting for you!
Impact Hill has their very first Executive Director, Kelly Towne! Kelly is an Oakland resident and not only has her MBA but is quite familiar with the world of nonprofit organizations as she worked for Family, Inc. in the past. If you don’t know much about Impact Hill, it is the nonprofit set up in the old Riverside School in Oakland thanks to the Schechinger family.
With a grant from the Iowa West Foundation, the organization was able to hire Kelly Towne to set all the ideas and programming in motion for the upcoming year, and Towne has plenty of things in the works already!
With uncertain times, Kelly’s focus for the remainder of 2020 will be “fundraising, creation of policies and procedures, and making sure Impact Hill is an inclusive space.” She has manuals to make and safety plans to formulate (especially due to COVID) as the nonprofit looks to re-open to programming and events. Kelly mentioned she will be translating everything into Spanish, as well, to truly embrace the area.
Although classes and events are not back in full swing yet, you can rent space currently for parties and personal events. Also, Mrs. Towne hinted that you could look forward to a golf tournament fundraiser in the spring! Fundraising will be a big piece of her job as she only has funding for one year. In fact, she told me she’d already applied for a grant in her first week on the job! Plus, with any beautiful older building there comes maintenance and repairs which will also be on the list of things to address.
She also said she was happy to give tours and talk about the organization with anyone interested. Her office offers are 10am to 1pm Monday – Friday, but she’s around more often than that. She’s more than willing to answer questions or take suggestions because as she pointed out Impact Hill is an “exceptional thing to have in a community our size, and the outpouring of support from our local community has been heartwarming.”
Possibly what impressed me the most was the enthusiasm Towne exhibited as she embarks on a very labor-intensive task! As an alum myself, I can’t help but cheer for her and want this to be successful for our community and our county! I asked her what she wanted to see happen and her words were just what I think we all want to hear:
“Impact Hill was off to a great start before I came on board. Their vision is absolutely amazing, and I am 100% in awe of their ability to dream big and then find the funding to make things happen. We have a climbing wall ready to be installed, and planning has begun for a ninja warrior course. I would love to see the vision of an indoor zero-entry pool come to fruition. I also would love to make part of the old school into a reception space for weddings and parties. Coming from my background in Family Support, I would love to be able to meet the community's needs such as language classes or family support groups.”
Kelly, we want all those things, too! Impact Hill has the potential to serve our rural communities in a way we haven’t seen before.
Go forth and be our champion! Pott. Co. is happy you’re ready to get started!
It’s been done nationally. It’s been done in the Metro, and now it’s happening in rural Pott. Co: WIDA is hosting the first ever cash mob at Silos in Treynor!
What is a cash mob? Well, think about a flash mob where everyone gathers to sing or dance. In this case, we all gather to rally around a business hit hard by COVID and support local! Since there are still COVID restrictions, we can’t really all be in one place at the same time, so instead we’re asking you to show up to dine in or carry out any time throughout next week (September 28th-October 3rd)!
TS Bank is helping us pilot the program and we hope all of you will help us in showing some love to our small businesses. And if you live in the area, you know that Silos isn’t just any small business. Silos went out of their way to have Friday Pizza Nights during COVID and donate to local charities like the food pantry for every pizza purchased, and they’re doing it again in November! They even rallied other local businesses to chip in for causes, too.
Besides doing fundraising pizza nights, Silos also offers an annual golf tournament and does bags leagues throughout the year! They are a key piece of the Treynor landscape. That being said, just like all the other businesses, 2020 has been a rough year. They, too, need our support. So instead of hopping in the car and heading to Omaha, let’s spend our money on those that are here for us.
The best part is that you might just score yourself something more than just a great meal! TS Bank has donated an Iowa State Gift Bag Set that you can sign up to win and other promotional items will be given away, as well! Plus, Silos will be offering specials all week! Tuesday will be their usual Mexican Day or Taco Tuesday as many refer to it! Wednesday will be a jalapeno popper burger special. Thursday you can get in on 75 cent wings or they have a hot beef special. Friday is chicken fried chicken, and the week ends with chicken fettuccine alfredo on Saturday. Of course, you can order any of your favorites off the menu, too!
They will be offering all their specials for lunch or dinner and will be open before the Cards volleyball game on Thursday night and are planning to stream the football game on Friday for those wanting to watch. They really are community-minded and here’s your chance to show them you are, too!
And for all of you who live in neighboring towns, let's show them we are all in this together! We all are rural Pott. Co. - united we stand! Plus, your turn will be coming!
So grab your card, or your cash, and spend it at Silos! It only works if we all buy in!
#SupportLocal #PottCounty #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife
So it is a jam-packed weekend in Pott. Co! So excited to be able to say that!
Tonight you can catch our local boy, Cole Rath at the Crescent Roadhouse Bar & Grill starting at 7 or you can check out the Figure 8 Races at Westfair starting at 7:30.
Tomorrow brings lots of options! Your day can start with pancakes from Botna Bend in Hancock as they are having their annual pancake feed but it is drive-thru only this year so you need to call or go online and pre-register to get said pancakes in the morning. And the syrup – well, it comes from sap they took from their very own maple trees! Yum!
Also on the pre-register list is The Most Generous Table in Avoca. Avoca Main Street always ends their farmers market season with The Longest Table down Elm with a bunch of courses of food that is farm to table and very gourmet. Well, thanks to COVID, they decided to do a drive-thru version instead. So call today if you want to pick up between 4 and 6pm tomorrow eve!
Of course, we have to talk about the HUGE event that’s happening tomorrow, too! The Southwest Iowa Arts Tour is only one day this year and it’s Saturday! From 10 to 6, you can hit 7 towns and 9 stops to see 51 different artists. I have a blog all about it that you should check out! There are actually 2 stops in rural Pott. Co. – one at Avoca at the corner of Elm and Crocker and the other is at The Painted Camel in Macedonia. I have to say, yet again, if you haven’t been, you really need to go. I was completely shocked the first time I went at how many talented people we have around here and what they make. It’s so cool and you just want to help them out and get all those Christmas gifts done!
The day ends with another one of my fave events – a demo derby! I have fond memories of crashing cars and smart aleck drivers! They are hosting at Westfair tomorrow night at 6pm.
Sunday offers a neat event you don’t see very often – a bridal flea market. So basically all those people who are done getting married can sell the stuff to the people who are getting ready to get married! It’s free to attend and it’s happening at The Palace Event Center outside Treynor.
Seriously, that’s a crazy fun weekend if I do say so myself!
Let me introduce you to the woman behind Stroller Warriors: Stephanie Geraghty! There’s a good chance you already know her as she grew up near Avoca and has returned home to raise her family with her husband, Brian, which I had the privilege of writing about last week! But maybe you had no idea what all she accomplished while she was on the road with Brian! She might not tell you, but I will!
As Steph pointed out, the military offers a lot of challenges. Sure, they get to travel and see the world and are blessed to have friends all over the world, but moving and starting over time and again is hard, especially with children, which is where this all started…
In 2009, Steph and Brian had just moved their family to North Carolina. Steph was a mom of a toddler with a husband being deployed so she knew she needed a friend network. It occurred to her that she needed to find other moms to run with and it would be two-fold because their kids could play together, too. She looked for a club, but there wasn’t one. So what did she do? She decided to start her own! The name came with Stroller representing they were family-friendly and Warriors because their spouses were Warriors, as were they for manning the home-front! With that, she made a plan and advertised on local swap sites and got a couple of other military wives involved. The first workout was a cold day in January with 3 participants, but it expanded from there. Word-of-mouth spread and the club grew to 15 to 20 members attending weekly meet-ups.
Members asked for more and Steph made it happen. They added more “workout days, community outreach events, couch to 5K training, even a book club. The club thrived and grew exponentially in the years to follow.” No doubt about that! As members moved away, they asked to start more chapters and thanks to Steph (and others she humbly gave credit to), a headquarters was set up and now there are 47 chapters and thousands of members. This marks the 10 year anniversary of the organization and it is still run completely by volunteers and free to its members. If you want to learn more, check it out here!
What makes this organization so important? Steph said it best: “Our members unite together to achieve goals and serve others, all while enduring deployments, moves, births, deaths, and more. The challenges of military life are always more manageable with Stroller Warriors at your side! I know that fact firsthand, as our middle son Cole was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy at age 2. Brian was deployed to Afghanistan and it was a very difficult time for us to accept his diagnosis and then figure out the treatment plan going forward and our "new normal." The Stroller Warriors helped me through this difficult time, I truly could not have done it without them.”
Steph has retired as CEO and said that she believed it should be run by an active duty spouse to fully envelope the needs and changes necessary for the program. Steph also was ready to come home and raise her family complete with a forever-home on her grandparents’ land (they purchased) that will be wheelchair accessible for their son and offers them land to do some hobby farming with goats, vegetables, and way too many cats! Lol. I also noted that her list of volunteer jobs is quite a lengthy one, as well as subbing and working at the Avoca Flower Shop! She certainly doesn’t let the grass grow under her!
With everywhere they’ve been and all they’ve been through, Stephanie says there’s no place like home. Amen!
Steph, we are so glad you came home to Pott. Co!
Beautiful weather and a need to get out of the house are perfect excuses to find your way to the 7th Annual Southwest Iowa Arts Tour this Saturday, September 19th!
This year’s event offers 7 towns, 9 stops, and exactly 50 artists! Two of those stops just happen to be in Pott. Co! Be sure to find your way to Avoca’s Main Street and Macedonia as they are both on the tour!
If you haven’t been before, it really is quite mind-blowing how many local artists there are and how amazingly talented they are! You can find anything from magnets, greeting cards, and jewelry to pottery, sculptures, and large-scale paintings! There really is a price point for everyone and I can’t stress how skilled these artists are. Plus, they are all willing to discuss their craft with you on-sight if you’re interested.
The Southwest Iowa Arts Tour is coordinated by Becca Castle, a project coordinator for Golden Hills, RC&D. She pointed out this is a great opportunity to experience what we have in our own backyard and support local artists instead of thinking you have to go to Omaha or Kansas City to get that great piece.
The tour was originally started, and continues successfully, with the purpose of bringing awareness to local artists, creating economic boosts for the rural towns, and exposing people to high quality art they may not even know is in the area. A wonderful part of the tour is that it gives rural folks an opportunity to find one-of-a-kind art as well as perfect gifts for the hard-to-buy people on their Christmas list! Besides all that, by having the chance to meet the artists many specifically-tailored-for-you commissions can be arranged.
It really is a phenomenal gift to our area, and if you have ever been to The Painted Camel in ‘Donia, then you know about Paul and the great artists he and Carol Jean work with. They will have featured artists in ceramics, weaving, pottery, photography, and glasswork on-hand. With a short trip down 59, Avoca will be having their event at the corner of Crocker and Elm behind the Post Office and will feature jewelry, photography, wood sculptures, and an illustrator.
To get a better glimpse of what to expect, swing by Golden Hills and grab the impressive tour guide of locations, artists, and a map or check the Facebook page for artist spotlights!
Due to COVID, this year’s event is only one day, Saturday, from 10am to 6pm and 3 of the stops will be completely outside. All will involve social distancing with hand sanitizer stations and masks are encouraged with a few indoor places requiring them. But do not let that stop you from attending!
I can’t say enough good things about the tour and what it represents - yes, it’s Iowa Nice. Yes, it’s humble Iowa artists showcasing their abilities. And yes, it is a great place to do a little shopping and support local!
See you Saturday!
It’s great news for local schools in Pott. Co. as the Council Bluffs Guild of the Omaha Symphony received a $90,000 Charles E. Lakin grant to increase their educational programs and incorporate them into more rural school districts!
Last year, Crescent Elementary, AHSTW, Riverside, and Underwood Elementary students were among the 2200 kids and teachers that went to Iowa Western to participate in the Mission Imagination event. Kids were encouraged to make their own instruments to play with the Omaha Symphony crew and sing with them, as well. It was anything from using hands to clap or drum on their legs to making bucket drums and horns. By having them join in, they were the center of the orchestra and did hands-on learning. Not only was the event an interactive 2-day event for kids but being able to hear the Omaha Symphony, and play with them, was a cultural experience of a lifetime!
Now, thanks to a Charles E. Lakin grant, the Symphony will be expanding their reach and adding to their programming to make things bigger and better for Pott. Co. kids! Local TS Bank representative, Treynor native, and Guild President Kelsey Stupfell is delighted to be able to offer kids more unique situations to broaden their horizons through music. The goal of the guild is to make connections between orchestra music and real-life experiences.
Be looking for those school permission slips for your kids to get involved!
Today is a day that so many of us remember with sobriety and put our political feelings aside in honor of loving the people of this country. Perhaps that is something we need to remember every day, and it is with that sentiment that I bring you an amazing military man that served in our US Army.
On this Patriot’s Day, otherwise known as 9/11 to so many, I bring another proud American that served our country: Tim James.
Tim James served from 1989 to 2014, and what he said was supposed to be a 4-year stint turned into a career. At the time, he thought it was money for college and he was pretty unsure of what he wanted to do with his life, but his dad and grandparents had served so it seemed like a logical choice. Little did he know he was destined to stay in. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., Georgia, New York, Missouri, Nebraska, and did tours overseas including a deployment to Iraq.
Apparently, Tim was quite a multi-tasker as he had jobs that ranged from infantry to instructor to policeman to even being a recruiter. His time in the Army was an opportunity for him to meet other people and learn some life lessons like how to deal with others and interact with them and see how the other half of the world lives. His favorite memories are a love for his soldiers and being an advocate for them and, well, maybe a few stories that aren’t appropriate for publishing! Lol
He said, quite frankly, the military changes you, and that isn’t a bad thing. It was through his service that he realized we should never take anything for granted. He says that after being overseas and seeing how other people live, he knows that Americans have it good and we should appreciate what we’ve got. He also mentioned that hard work and persistence always pays off. That certainly is the case for James.
James is now a contractor in Omaha but has returned to school to get his education degree to teach history and English and be a coach. He feels strongly about education and about family. He’s been married to his wife, Doreen, for over 20 years and adores his 3 children. Noel is a Junior and runs track at UNI. Their son, Noah, is a senior at Treynor playing lots of sports with a definite future in high jump. Aubree is a freshman and into volleyball and soccer. Of course, he didn’t forget to mention their dog, Tucker. Clearly, he loves his family time, but also takes time out to hunt, fish, and enjoy time with other Vets.
I asked what he wished all Americans understand and his answer was quite eloquent: “America is the greatest country and it is well worth it, despite its flaws and mistakes. It is the greatest.” He referenced the Reagan quote about it being the shining light on the hill as a beacon and how we should respect it as such.
Well, Tim, we respect you for your service, for your love of community, and for your genuineness.
Pott. Co. is honored that you call this home!
Sponsored by Western Ventures, Inc.
Maybe you know him, maybe you don’t, as he just moved to the area a couple of years ago, but Brian Geraghty brought his family to Avoca after 20 years as a Marine. After serving from 1998 to 2018, Brian retired and moved back to his home state to raise his kids and live near his wife’s family. Geraghty mentioned he’s happy to be in Avoca with his wife Steph, and his kids, Caden (13), Cole(11), and Hailey(7).
He told me that he decided to be a Marine because he wanted to do something different than what everyone else was doing! He certainly did that! While in the military, he did Signals Intelligence. We could ask him what that means exactly but I’m guessing it’s one of those, “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” stories! Lol.
While serving, he was stationed in Hawaii, Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina but he happened to be in Australia at the time of 9/11. However, his story is one of actively being involved after it. To be truthful, I had to use his words because they tell the story first-hand in a way I never could.
“When 9/11 happened, I was a Corporal on my first deployment with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). I had only been serving for 3 years. I was hanging out in a bar in Darwin, Australia, well past midnight. Almost like a movie, they cut the music and the Australian DJ said all Marines and sailors needed to immediately report back to their ships. We all thought it was a joke and they had to force us to leave. When we were walking back to the ship we saw news stories on the TVs and realized what had happened. Chaos ensued and Marines and sailors started running back to the ship. We departed immediately the next morning, steaming toward the Middle East. They actually had to cross deck sailors and Marines because in the chaos, many ended up on the wrong ships. A little more than a month passed, and we waited for the US government to figure out what to do. Then, suddenly, decisions were made and things moved very quickly. We all felt numb as we found ourselves test firing our weapons on the side of the ship and boarding helicopters for the recon and surveillance elements to insert into Pakistan. I distinctly remember when our helo rotated to take off, all of the Navy flight crew saluted us.
We headed out for the first major combat since Desert Storm. After we landed, we prepared a foothold for operations in Afghanistan. We inserted into Afghanistan in November to take our first objection: Camp Rhino and then Kandahar Airfield. From then on, serving in the military was completely different. That pinnacle moment changed everything and the rest of my career…we were in war.”
I don’t know that any of us that are civilians can possibly know what all that implied, but we all can be thankful for people like Brian who choose to serve our country, one who told me he learned the value of hard work and the dedication to a fellow brother in arms.
Even now, Retired MSgt. Geraghty travels all over the US working as a contractor for the military and proclaims that the greatest blessing of being a Marine was serving others, realizing the importance of family, and gaining many friendships. So it is no surprise that he encourages all Americans to “work together to achieve our common goals because it is more effective than letting our enemies gain the advantage.”
As we continue to hear about a country divided, think about the men and women like Brian who live right down the street that put our needs above their own and serve our country. Every last one of them have told me the same thing: this is the greatest country.
With that, I say “Welcome to Pott. Co, Brian! Thank you for your service, and we sure are glad you’re here!”
Keep current with Southwest Iowa happenings here.