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Ronda Graff

Community Connections

News and views from the McCook Community Foundation Fund

Opinion

'Nothing to do here' is simply not true

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Many people, both young and old, often lament that there is nothing to do here. Or other frequently quoted statements are nothing ever happens here, nothing gets done, nothing ever changes.

All of which are untrue. Regardless of where you live, things are always happening; you just may not know about it. Things are always getting done; they just may be what you want to see getting done. And things are always changing; we may just not notice it or slow down enough to appreciate the changes.

And the “here” doesn’t even matter but for argument's sake, let’s say that “here” means McCook as well as Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas.

When someone says that there is nothing to do here, that may just mean they don’t know what is going on. Ironically, in today’s world of information overload, it is actually harder to get information to everyone because everyone has their own, individual way of learning about things: social media, posters, radio, TV, newspapers and their neighbor.

But there is always something happening.

For example, the McCook Chamber of Commerce just wrapped up its biggest event of the year, McCook’s Heritage Days. But the Chamber is now in the middle of organizing what could be an almost as big event, Noel on Norris and the Christmas Lights Parade on Dec. 3. Look for more information to be released soon, but start digging out the Christmas lights and tinsel.

Organizations are always looking for new members, support for their events or even just help with their projects.

The McCook Rotary Club is hosting a Pints for Polio fundraiser/awareness event at Scoops Ice Cream in McCook next Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 1-9 p.m. You can buy ice cream, make a donation and learn more about Rotary and what it is doing to eradicate polio worldwide.

The Optimist Club is regularly doing events to support local youth and could even be found along South Highway 83 on Wednesday night for their annual trash pickup.

Just visit the YMCA website if you need to find things to do for adults or children throughout the year, but especially in the coming weeks with the Boo Bash in the YMCA gym to a Duathlon at Red Willow Lake.

And there are many projects which are in the formation stage but would take help from volunteers with insight or experience. The BreakAway, formerly called the Discovery Children’s Museum, continues to evolve and hopes to have a permanent home in the near future. There is discussion of a new inclusive playground and perhaps a splash pad. And McCook’s art and culture scene continues to grow with a mural project, area artist shows and the creation of a Creative Arts District.

The Gazette will again host the Halloween Parade up and down Norris Avenue on Oct. 29. The list goes on and on, but these things don’t just happen. People need to get involved and dedicate time and resources to the project. And it should not just be the usual suspects. Everyone can and needs to get involved, whether it is lending a hand to plan, volunteering at the event or showing support by just showing up. After all, it takes a lot of work and a lot of man (and woman) hours to make things happen. If we want to go from “there is nothing to do here” to “we are making McCook a better place to call home,” everyone needs to get involved and needs to make things happen.

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Speaking of slowing down and noticing the changes, is anyone else amazed by the colors of the leaves on the trees this year? Maybe they are always this bright and amnesia has set in since the last fall, but this really is the best time of year as the trees show their true colors.

The drought we are experiencing does affect the fall foliage, usually causing the leaves to be less vibrant or even to dry up and fall off before they change colors. Regardless, many trees are showing their bright yellows, oranges and reds right now, so it’s a great time to take a walk or drive a little slower to appreciate the change happening around us.

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