Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It takes a village to promote a village

I’ve been diligently trying to get my house ready to sell, fixing all the little things that I’ve ignored since we moved in. My four-year-old Jake, with the best intentions, decided to help me out by peeling the wallpaper on the stairway last week. While I’m sure Jake’s heart was in the right place, he wasn’t all that helpful, especially since peeling the wallpaper was not on my fix-up list.

As we sought out volunteers to cover the McPherson booth for 10 days at the State Fair in Hutchinson (check out Kelsey and Jo from KBBE, just two of our volunteers), I came across that same helpful spirit in many members of our community. It got me thinking how it really does take a village to promote a village.

Many of the events I attend to promote McPherson require the cooperation of many businesses and individuals. Here’s just a few examples:

· Holiday group tour planner in Oklahoma: Graber’s Ace Hardware loaned us Christmas lights and a Christmas village lighthouse, Cook’s Nook loaned us painted snowman plates, mugs and bowls, The Bookshelf let us use brass courthouse ornaments to decorate our tree and Artshirt had some great KU and K-State snowmen to set out.

· Great Bend Women’s Expo: The list is long here as we tried to pamper the ladies at this event and entice them to come to Mac for a ladies day out trip. Cook’s Nook gift basket for a door prize, Integrity Salon, Java John’s, Courtyard on Main, Rural Rooster, Stone Chimney, Brushes N Bling, Sassy Bags, The Cake Lady and Creative Hairlines.

What is great about businesses helping the CVB with donations is that we are able to distribute information for them to a group they might otherwise be unable to reach.

There are plenty of opportunities in the near future to partner with the CVB on events. The trolley holiday lights tours are coming up in December. We plan to have public tours on Thursdays starting from the Opera House again this year, but we’d also like to add another night during the week for tours since they sold out so quickly last year. If your business, group, church or school would like to host one of these tours and provide refreshments and possibly entertainment, let me know. We plan to continue our movies in the park next summer. If you’d like to sponsor a movie, give me a call. If you have an idea of your own for a community event – be it entertainment or sports-related, I’m always open to new ideas.

Remember, no man is an island, and if he was, good luck promoting it without a little help from the natives.

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