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September 7, 2017 The Hesston RecordSeptember 7, 2017 The Hesston Record

Home Sweet Hesston Returning Sept. 20-23

Posted 8/24/2017

By JACQUELYN NELSON
HESSTON RECORD STAFF

With the success of Home Sweet Hesston in 2016, the event is expanding this year to include Schowalter Villa and greater involvement with Hesston College.

Hesston Community Foundation Director Susan Lamb, along with Dallas Stutzman of Hesston College were the key coordinators of last year’s event.  This year, three new members have joined the leadership committee - Megan Smith, Ariana Kauffman and Rachel Bucklin, all working at Bluestem Communities. 

Lamb said as one of the primary coordinator’s last year, she appreciates having more hands to make for lighter work.

“I really appreciate working in collaboration with this group because it allows for new ideas and also helps bring multiple perspectives,” she said.

Smith said has a lifetime resident of Hesston, festivals helped shape her appreciation of her community. 

“One of my earliest memories of Hesston in general is decorating my bicycle for an entry in the Bloomin’ Festival parade.  We were new to the community and it was my first year in Hesston schools.  Participating in the parade and other festival activities was not only a great way to meet folks, but it really demonstrated to me what the Hesston community was all about,” she said.

Lamb said continuing to help children make those kinds of memories is key to maintaining a vibrant community.

“I think all small towns appreciate the opportunity to be together in a setting that is family friendly,” she said.

With the addition of the new leadership members, Lamb said new ideas and new events can continue to be added to Home Sweet Hesston.

“We don’t want events to get stale.  New perspectives prevent us from ‘doing it the way we always have’,” she said.

Bucklin, who is a relativley new Hesstonian, said being part of a community event has been an important part of integrating.

“ The goal of forming this committee was to involve various aspects of the Hesston community in order to plan a festivities week that brings the whole community together. As a member of the planning committee for Home Sweet Hesston, I feel honored to be a part of implementing that vision, bringing the residents of Hesston together every year to celebrate community,” she said.

This year, Smith said with all the events Home Sweet Hesston will have to offer she does not have a favorite.

“It’s hard to pick. I’m probably most excited about the Friday night activities. 

“The dinner before the football game is truly a community-wide event and I hope everyone comes out to enjoy a great meal together while also supporting an important cause.  I also think there is a special energy around Friday night lights and cheering on your home football team.  And, ending the evening with everyone together at the stadium for a fireworks show is a really fun finale,” she said.

Kauffman said, as a new member on the leadership team, she is hopeful residents will come away with a renewed sense of community.

“I believe that Hesston is unique. There aren’t many towns with our population that can offer what we can, and I think there are even more opportunities for growth to come! This event is a celebration, and hopefully a reminder, that we must support one other, look for opportunities to reach out to one another, shop local, dine local, volunteer, be aware of Hesston happenings, read the Hesston Record, offer a helping hand, and the list goes on,” she said.

Kauffman said Hesstonians can treat Home Sweet Hesston as an opportunity to show community pride and create new traditions.

“May this be a springboard for new ideas and ways to connect with one another. May this also be an event that is looked forward too for generations to come,” she said.