The Cash Mob is back and it’s happening at The Painted Camel in Macedonia! After having success piloting it at Silos in Treynor, TS Bank and WIDA are taking it on the road to Macedonia Halloween weekend!
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 shop at The Painted Camel any time throughout Halloween weekend (October 30th-November 1st)! (Or really any other time, too, but Halloween weekend is ideal!)
The Painted Camel will be open October 30th from noon to 5, Halloween from noon to 7pm, and November 1 (Sunday) from noon to 5. They will be open longer on Saturday so you can shop and swing into the Stempel Bird Museum and the Pioneer Trail Museum between 5 and 7pm and catch a bite to eat at The Back Forty before making your way to the last Ghost Stories in the Park in the Dark event held by Grist Mill at the Olde Town Park in Macedonia at 7:30!
Not familiar with The Painted Camel? Well, Paul and Carol Jean are the amazing owners! Paul actually is an artist himself and sells his pottery in the shop along with 30+ other artists! People, I say this constantly, but you have to see it to believe it – the place is straight out of the Old Market! It’s beautiful! And they have a little of everything – inspirational kitchen towels, handmade jewelry, paintings, photos, books, ornaments, wind chimes, note cards, etc. and most all of it is one-of-a-kind and perfect for a Christmas gift!
Here’s the deal, Paul and Carol Jean are staples in the Macedonia community and legends on the Southwest Iowa Art Tour. They are wonderful people who couldn’t open their shop for months on end because of COVID, their sales took a drastic hit. I can only ask that you take it upon yourself to drive to Macedonia and support people who graciously support their community by donating their time, gift cards, and pottery to major events.
Supporting local has to go to a whole new level for us to keep our businesses here in Pottawattamie County where they belong and here is an opportunity for you to get something beautiful, see a place you maybe haven’t been to, and support people who truly love their home.
Plus, you will get local swag for every purchase you make and you can sign up to win a great prize package from TS Bank! Show up, support, and be part of the team! You won’t be sorry!
No longer is she known for her rocks, now she’s the Mask Lady! Vicki Palmer of Oakland has gone from being a retired school nurse to the master of 712 Painted Rocks to supplying 5000 masks for those in need during COVID!
When Vicki heard there was a need for masks, she remembered the 4 yards of softball fabric sitting in her closet. From there, she expanded to making masks for neighbors, friends, family, doctors’ offices, several schools, a couple of ministries, homeless shelters, nursing homes and many other organizations through Nebraska Hands & Feet.
She says it takes her 15 minutes to make a regular cotton mask and 30-ish to make the see-through mouth ones. The amazing part is that Palmer doesn’t charge. She’s become known for her “free mask” tote that often sits outside her home next to the street and sometimes she takes it to other towns to spread the love. Actually, she’s made them for people all over the country as she has family in Grand Island, NE, Fort Worth, TX, and San Antonio!
Why has she done all these masks? Not only does she like helping others, she knew there was a need, and she mentioned that it filled a void at just the right time after her retirement from Riverside last year. She’s used everything from flamingos, baseballs, paisley, and her favorite, a black with lavender and blue floral print (shown in the photo) to make the masks. And she’s still sewing! She just got done making some clear-fronted masks for families in Scottsbluff with hearing-impaired members and touts that she will keep going strong till there is no need!
Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Well, Vicki, you have done just that!
Thank you for doing your part to make Pott. Co. and the world a little better place to be!
The place to be this weekend: the Fall Antique Festival in Walnut! With beautiful weather on tap and possibly the largest set of vendors ever for the fall event, you won’t want to miss the 14th Annual Fall Antique and Stoneware Festival this Saturday and Sunday (October 10&11).
So Walnut is expecting 60 outdoor vendors and 10 indoor dealers from 10 states to arrive Friday and be ready to show you the best wares they have to offer! In fact, the festival will be expanding further on Antique Drive than it ever has! After so many festivals like this being canceled this year, the vendors are beyond excited to see you! Plus, all the local antique shops will be open, as well, which if you haven’t been in them – you need to! As someone who likes to give the perfect Christmas gift, the shops at Walnut truly are spectacular. They are full of one-of-a-kind items, many of them nostalgic in nature but lots of upcycling, too. And they will all be open all day on Friday if you want to get an early start!
The Fall Festival features stoneware. If you’re unaware of what stoneware is, well, it includes crocks, water coolers, pitchers, butter churns, etc. but they will have all kinds of antiques – toys, furniture, primitives, etc. for you to lust over this weekend!
It is free admission, rain or shine! The hosts have made wash stations available in the American Legion building where all the indoor vendors will be housed as well as offering free masks for all patrons. The public restrooms will be open for all those attending.
Of course, I love going for the food, too! The Fire Department will be hosting a pancake breakfast both mornings from 7am to noon at the Fire Station and B&L Diner will be open on Main Street. Emma Jean’s out next to the Interstate will be available, too. Plus, there will be cotton candy, pretzels, brick oven pizza, kringles, and more! Do a little browsing and grazing! Lol.
Both days kick off with the “crock parade” at 7:45am when the trailer of crocks pulls into town! And be sure to stop by the middle of town square where an antique fire truck will be displayed and ready for all your Fall Festival 2020 selfies!
It’s going to be a great weekend in Walnut! Make sure you’re part of it!
Get yourself to the grand opening of Tillie’s Salon and Boutique in Avoca this Thursday, October 8th at 4pm! A ribbon cutting will take place at 4 and then she will be celebrating her grand opening for 3 days with giveaways, snacks, and more: Thursday 4-8pm, Friday 4-8, and Saturday 9-4pm.
For all of you familiar with Avoca, Taylor Engel just took over an Avoca Main Street mainstay, The Hairloom, at 117 N Elm Street. Taylor is a young entrepreneur originally from Avoca, a graduate of AHSTW, and a graduate of EQ School of Hair Design. With dreams of being a hair stylist and a boutique owner, she jumped on the opportunity when it came her way!
Why Tillie’s? Well, her great grandmother was Tillie and her parents often teased her she acted just like her so it seemed only fitting that she honor her with her new place. Tayler has lots of family ties to the Avoca area and clearly values them and her hometown. She said that she loves the feel of Avoca Main Street and all the renovations have made it a fun, beautiful place to be. Well, said, Tayler!
As Ms. Engel embarks on her new, exciting adventure, she offers not only a place to get your hair done, but also a boutique business that includes women’s clothing, home décor, and accessories at a time when availability in small towns is hard to come by. Plus, she posts online on her Facebook page for those of you wanting to see your options. As we head into the holidays, this could be just the place to support local and get Christmas gifts you can see and touch in person!
It sounds like Tillie’s is about to become the next legendary place in Avoca. When I asked Tayler what she hoped to provide for the community, she said she hopes they leave Tillie’s “feeling relaxed, happy, stress-free, and beautiful!” I’m pretty sure everybody else is hoping for that, too!
Congratulations and best of luck on your new business venture, Tayler! Pott. Co. will be cheering for you!
#SupportLocal #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife #PottCounty
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!
Keep current with Southwest Iowa happenings here.