This is a remarkable story and, yet, in one form or another, the same thing happens hundreds of times every year in McCook and the surrounding area of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas.
What I'm talking about is the wonderful willingness of the people of this area to help out. It's about neighbors helping neighbors. It's about caring and cooperation.
The story started unfolding a few days ago when Charles Coleman and I started asking people to help host the Fox Theatre's presentation of "Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping." The show is a pretty big deal for us. A large tour bus and tractor trailer are coming into town Monday morning, carrying a cast and crew of 13 as well as a full professional set, including a refrigerator, stove, large props and a load of lighting and sound equipment.
The extensive preparations are necessary for the performances at the Fox, which will be Monday night at 7 p.m. and Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m.
I'm telling you this to lead up to my point, which is: THE PEOPLE OF THIS AREA STEPPED UP TO FILL EVERY NEED. Every person available said yes. There were no ifs, ands or buts. It was just, "When do you need me?," followed by "I'll be there."
We've tried to keep a list, but because of the large number of helpers I'm sure we'll miss someone. Still, I'm going to name some names because it's my hope that their service will be an inspiration to others.
The list continues to grow, even as this is being written. Thank you, one and all. Our hats are off to the volunteers, including: Joseph McCarty, Laura Jean Clark, Michelle Lytle, Bruce Crosby, Bill Longnecker, Tenielle Lytle, Matt Sehnert, Sierra Bustamante, Kyle Matthews, Sarah Jones, Andy Hutchins, Alyssa Karr, Lonnie Weyeneth, JeriLynn Karr, Phil Goodenberger, Karry Coburn, Chris Wagner, Erika Dimas, Densel O'Dea, Emily Karr, John Hubert, Eileen Hubert, Jesse Stevens, Mike Simmonds, Jerry Beckenhauer, Christina Coleman, Ron Barger, Elizabeth Benjamin, Perry Strombeck, Gaylin Hartzer Jr., Lloyd Benjamin, Tilden Weber and Josh Schieber and the members of the McCook High School FFA chapter.
The McCook area is fortunate to have a show like "Church Basement Ladies 2" come to our area. But, an even greater blessing is the warm, giving spirit of the people who call this area their home.
Gene O. Morris