Enter & Win Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventure

Kristi LeGrande enjoyed her Getaway to America’s Most Famous Small Town: Red Cloud, NE. Thank you to all business participants. Check back often for other giveaways.

Latte & Shopping at Lizzy’s
Beverages at The Brix
Dinner at Fat Fox’s
The Kaley House B & B

 

 

Red Cloud, Nebraska on November 17, 2017

WHERE? Red Cloud, Nebraska offers a glimpse into a storied American past while maintaining a progressive vision for the future. The town’s most famous citizen, author Willa Cather, introduced the world to Red Cloud and left indelible impressions in the minds of her readers.

Red Cloud  is set amidst brick-lined streets, charming homes, historic buildings and the immense beauty of the prairie.

Your off-the-beaten path adventure will let you explore a rural lifestyle while immersing yourself in performance arts, culture, history and local cuisine.

This contest is done in cooperation with the Red Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce who welcome you to their historic community known as “America’s Most Famous Small Town.”

Prize Package Includes

  • Overnight Lodging at  the  Kaley House B&B, Master Suite for the evening of November 17, 2017. Winner must reserve upon notification of winning prize. $156.80 value http://redcloudbb.com/
  • $20 certificate to Fat Fox’s Kitchen

  • $20 certificate to Lizzy’s

  • 2 free-7 building tours from the Willa Cather Foundation $50 value

  • 2 free tickets to the Mary Carrick show (must reserve in advance and make arrangements to get tickets from the Willa Cather Foundation before November 17, 2017.) $40 value

  • 2 popcorn and soft drink tickets to use at Carrick show $8.00 value

  • Wine or beer tasting at On the Brix $10-$15

  • 2 free tours of the Historic Starke Round Barn http://www.starkeroundbarn.com/ $10

  • Copy of My Antonia. Willa Cather’s book published in 1918-100 year anniversary is in 2018. $10.00

  • Red Cloud Chamber of Commerce Gift basket: $20

How to Win-Complete ALL Steps to be Eligible

  1. You must provide an email address on the home page of this website: lindaleierthomason.com.  Enter your email in the red white and blue box in the right-hand column of the home page-this page. [It will tell you if we already have it after you type in your email address.]
  2. Go to Facebook  Click Here for Facebook Page or use this link https://www.facebook.com/lleierthomason/. Like the page and comment about who’d you take on this trip with you & why. A share is also appreciated.
  3. All steps must be completed for your entry to be accepted. No exceptions.

Rules to Enter

Please read all carefully before entering.

  • Must be twenty-one (21) or older to win.
  • Contest open to legal residents of the United States of America.
  • Winner Notification: Winner will be chosen at random on Monday, October 23, 2017. Winner will be notified via email. Response must be received in 24 hours. If none, another winner will be randomly chosen.
  • Prize is non-transferable. No cash redemption or substitution will be allowed.
  • Prize package is for November 17, 2017 and only this date. Do not enter if you cannot attend the performance (7:30 PM-10:00 PM) and spend the evening at the Kaley House B&B. No more than two guests are allowed to stay in the Master Suite at the Kaley House. Winner may reserve other rooms at his/her expense.
  • Prize does not include transportation to and from Red Cloud, Nebraska.
  • Winner agrees to take photographs of his/her visit and to share a minimum of 3 images by November 20, 2017 with lindaleierthomason.com to use at their discretion. An email will be provided to you.
  • Winner assumes all responsibility and releases lindaleierthomason.com and all prize donors and sponsors from all liability.
  • If winner accepts prize and does not use, winner agrees to pay lindaleierthomason.com $300.00 on or before November 24, 2017. Payment must be in form of cashier’s check.
  • By accepting prize, winner understands and agrees to all contest rules.
  • Immediate family members (spouse/partner, children, grandchildren and parents) of prize sponsors, Red Cloud Chamber of Commerce and/or lindaleierthomason.com are not eligible to enter.

 

©Copyright. September 2017. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.

 

Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.

 

 

 

Faith, Family & Farming: McCook, Nebraska

Pillars of Southwest Nebraska Community

townI spent 22 hours covering every square inch, and then some, of McCook-a city of nearly 8000 and the county seat of Red Willow County, Nebraska. My goal on any undercover visit is to discover the heartbeat of the community-what makes it thrive, what does it value and how is it different from anywhere else.

I left McCook with a clear understanding that Faith, Family and Farming are the pillars in this Go-To city in Southwest Nebraska.

Origin

Established in 1882 as a railroad center halfway between Denver and Omaha, McCook remains a regional trade hub for Northwest Kansas and Southwest Nebraska. Residents in this rural area flock to McCook for shopping, dining, education, entertainment, medical services and more.

Red Willow County was named for the Red Willow Creek, which is a tributary of the Republican River. The name is reported to be mistranslated from the Dakota Indian name Chanshasha Wakpala, which literally means Red Dogwood Creek. The Dakota referred to the creek as such because of an abundance of red dogwood shrub that grew along the creek banks. Its stem and branches are deep red in color and favored in basket making.

History & Trendy

The city has seamlessly blended history and modernization. In fact, the two often co-exist, as seen at The Loop Brewing Company, a former railroad beericehouse that in 2011 became a brewery and restaurant with an active railway within a few feet of its front door. The Loop was at near capacity when I arrived to enjoy a beer flight and brick oven pizza shortly after 8 pm on an unseasonably 38 degree rainy night.

Norris Avenue (The Bricks) is perhaps the best example of this perfect blend of history and hip. The historical walking tour includes, in addition to other sites, the Fox Theatre and Museum of High Plains & Carnegie Library  as well as the Norris House-a museum for its namesake, the late Senator George W norrisNorris. Go a bit south to find the trendy women’s clothing store Mint 217 and the fabulous Knowlen and Yates cooking and kitchenware store. While touring, you’ll also find the H.P. Sutton Home-the only house in Nebraska designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which today is a private residence. Venture off “The Bricks” on East B Street and discover The Painted Ladies. This home décor and painted furniture store owned by three friends is right on trend and proves that no matter how far you live from a metropolitan area, you can keep up with the trends and be just as “cool” as anyone else. West B Street finds you at Farrells Pharmacy and Hallmark Store where the best prescription here is customer service.

Gold Star Service

In fact, every business I entered deserves a gold star for customer service. flipSure, in a community this size where folks likely know one another, I’m certain I stood out. Instead of making me feel like an outsider, every encounter was quite the opposite. “Welcome. Is there something I can help you find?” Good old-fashioned customer service still exists, at least in McCook. Equally impressive was, “Thank you for stopping in and for visiting McCook.”

Well done business owners! Your employees are impressively well-trained.

Family

pianoNo matter where I dined during my visit, I was always a party of two surrounded by large family groups. Lunching at Sehnert’s Bakery & Bieroc Cafe was an extraordinary experience. Yes, the Jiffy Burger, especially the freshly baked bun, was exceptional as were the pastries, and I mean plural, but the sense of community in the establishment is something of day’s long gone. The ownership here has taken great care in creating a gathering place that oozes community.

After ordering, coffee-sipping customers caught up with one another in front of the pastry display cases while waiting for their lunch. As one moves to the dining area, a framed poster on “How to Build Community” greets all diners. tallThe message of the poster was perfectly put into action in the Café. Greetings were exchanged between and across tables and remarkably diners of all ages sat at the Café’s piano filling the room with background sounds deserving of a much larger audience, though greatly appreciated by their current one, which applauded after each performance.

Throughout my 22 hours as a first-time visitor, everything I saw and experienced in McCook was new, but my time in this Café left the strongest impression on me. It’s something I wish for every community. One person and one business can make a difference in building community.

Faith

Churches (20) of nearly every faith are represented in McCook. I visited St. glassPatrick’s Catholic Church. The doors were open-a rare find today in a town of any size. As with most communities, the churches in McCook appear to foster social capital and provide needed services as well as a moral compass for the city.

 

Farming

mooMy visit included a drive by schools, city hall, a senior center and nursing home, the community college, hospital, airport, golf course, and parks. I visited the library and the Burlington Northern and Amtrak station as well as two surrounding state recreation areas: Red Willow Reservoir and Medicine Creek. No matter where I went, I observed and understood the role agriculture plays in this area’s economy.

grainApproaching McCook on Highways 6 & 34 East, one’s senses are awakened by the aromas of feed lots and rich wet soil ; sights of windmills, irrigation systems and massively-sized, sophisticated-looking grain bins, and the sounds of bellowing cows and rumbling trains. Farming is vital and omnipresent in this region.

4hThe Red Willow County Fairgrounds, which house the Kiplinger Arena, spoke to the heart of McCook. Here young citizens learn both the values and lessons of farming and citizenship from adults who hold dear the same lessons shared by their predecessors.

Go-To McCook

golfMcCook is the Go-To City of Southwest Nebraska built on a foundation of faith, family and farming. Go to McCook. Awaken your senses, engage in conversation with the locals, shop their trendy stores, walk the Heritage Square, play in their well-kept parks and dine in one of many great eateries.

Experience a textbook example of community.

You will leave McCook a more enlightened person than when you came.

Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.

©Copyright. May 2016. Linda Leier Thomason.

All Rights Reserved.

This undercover study was done in cooperation with McCook/Red Willow County Tourism.

 

Nominate your community for an undercover study by contacting me.