Focus groups explore ideas for local growth

Friday, May 27, 2016

McCOOK, Neb. -- United in their desire to see their community grow, more than 60 McCook citizens spread across the floor of the Graff Event Center Thursday night to launch a landmark program called "Marketing Hometown America."

The purpose -- through a series of study group discussions in the next six weeks -- will be to find the best ways to attract new residents to McCook.

Agreeing that McCook already has many great assets, the speakers -- Mary Dueland, Kirk Dixon, Ben Dutton and Kim Korgan -- called upon McCookites to identify the town's strong points and come up with a marketing plan to bring new people to town.

All McCook citizens were encouraged to get involved. To do so, people throughout the town are invited to join one of the study groups, each of which will be made up of between six and 12 people.

The groups will gather for four brainstorming discussions in June, leading up to a community-wide Action Forum set for June 30.

The group sessions will begin in early June, so sign-ups are encouraged as soon as possible. Those interested in taking part are asked to call Ben Dutton at the Red Willow County Extension Office, (308) 345-3390, or Mary Dueland, the Marketing Hometown America program coordinator, at (308) 737-6111.

Those leading the study groups as facilitators are Clark Bates, Mary Dueland, Denise Garey, Tim Garcia, Mary Kircher, Kim Korgan, Gene Morris, Tor Olson, and Gene Weedin. The facilitators would also welcome your calls for more information.

"Our town has good leadership and excellent assets in place," the speakers said. "Now it's up to us to tell our story to let others know what a great place this is to live."

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