Frontier Communications, DISH, CoBank Team up to Support Revitalization of Small Cities with America’s Best Communities Contest

This opportunity came to our inbox and we wanted to share it with all of our great small town communities! Does your community have what it takes to be named one of Frontier Communications’ “America’s Best Communities”? There are big prize dollars for the communities whose proposals help small towns in America thrive.

More than $10 million dedicated to support innovation and growth
in 50 rural communities over three years. Frontier, DISH, CoBank challenge communities across America to submit and implement
their best plans for future growth and prosperity. Unique financial rewards, support network for small communities to collaborate, initiate change for long-term sustainability.

Continue reading

It’s Time for a Real Estate Rundown!

Houses

For a limited time, you can save 50% on the purchase of 10 real estate listing on LoveSmallTownAmerica.com and get them for only $375 a year. (That means you get 10 listings for the price of 5!) This special is so insanely good, we can only offer it to current LSTA members.

What You Get 

  • 10 real estate listings on LSTA.com for a full year
  • Reach a huge audience – we had nearly 1 million hits in 2013
  • Free Facebook and Twitter promotion of your listings to all our followers

Email nicole@lovesmalltownamerica.com to take advantage of this limited time offer.

Thank you!
The Love Small Town America team

Fine Print

  • You must be a current member of LSTA to receive this special promotional price. If you’re not a current member, we can help you with that! Learn more about becoming a member.
  • You must purchase this special before you list something – i.e. it is not retroactive to include earlier listings.
  • Real estate listings include all the bells and whistles – photos, a dedicated URL, and our full-service support. We take care of you so you can take care of business.

Run With Lisa – T-Shirt Orders

Run with Lisa t-shirts support Lisa's cancer treatment. (T-shirt front)

Run with Lisa t-shirts support Lisa’s cancer treatment. (T-shirt front)

Recently, we shared with you how the member of one of our LSTA communities is battling a cancerous brain tumor. The small town of Grainfield, Kansas has banded together to support Lisa Althouse as she battles this glioblastoma. Lisa is a vibrant young woman committed to health and fitness. The town of Grainfield has rallied around her and is raising money to help with the cost of Lisa’s treatments. 

T-shirt back.

T-shirt back.

You can buy t-shirts to support “Run with Lisa”. T-shirts cost $15 each and 100% of the profit will be donated to the Lisa Althouse Medical Fund. Download and print the order form below.

Order Form

Order Form

Run With Lisa

The outpouring of love and support from the small town of Grainfield has been tremendous. Photo credit: Brooke Ostmeyer Photography

The outpouring of love and support from the small town of Grainfield has been tremendous. Photo credit: Brooke Ostmeyer Photography

Small towns are known for their sense of community. Your neighbors are a group of friends you can celebrate with: Independence Day fireworks, block parties, joyful graduation celebrations, fall festivals. But, this network extends beyond cheerful exchanges; small towns offer a source of real support during the tough times, too.

Friends, family, and neighbors organized a send-off as Lisa left town to begin her cancer treatment.

Friends, family, and neighbors organized a send-off as Lisa left town to begin her cancer treatment.

Recently, the dear friend of our founder Nicole Godek was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. The small town of Grainfield, Kansas has banded together to support Lisa Althouse as she battles this glioblastoma. Lisa is a vibrant young woman committed to health. She’s a health and fitness advocate who walks the walk: Lisa loves running and has competed in numerous races, including marathons.

“We as her family and friends are committed to helping her through this race… We will help her every step of the way and watch as she crosses the finish line… a survivor!”

– Run With Lisa Facebook Page

Lisa’s chemo/radiation treatment will last a continuous six weeks in Kansas City. The Grainfield community – even those who don’t know Lisa – continue to organize fundraisers to help her young family cope with the impending medical bills.

Run with Lisa t-shirts support Lisa's cancer treatment.

Run with Lisa t-shirts support Lisa’s cancer treatment.

This weekend at Grainfield’s annual Memorial Day weekend event, Cruise, Shoes & BBQs, “Run With Lisa” t-shirts will be sold to raise money. 100% of the profits will be donated to the Lisa Althouse Medical Fund. The proceeds from the 5K run Sunday morning will also be donated to Lisa.

The outpouring of love and support our small communities have given Lisa is inspiring. It makes you proud to live in a small town!

Support Lisa’s treatment here: https://www.facebook.com/events/509009292536899/510505219053973/?notif_t=lik%20e%20&

Learn more about Lisa: https://www.facebook.com/runwithlisa

Blue Skyways Shutting Down June 30, 2014

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.13.52 AM

For more than 250 Kansas communities, Blue Skyways has been an online home. The website is a service of the State Library of Kansas and has served as a hub for resources about Kansas communities, heritage, government, and libraries. Now, Blue Skyways is shutting down.

The Blue Skyways web service will end as of June 30, 2014, citing the state of the State Library budget as the primary cause. We received the following announcement and request to spread the word to communities who may have benefitted from Blue Skyways in the past.

“While Skyways has been a highly successful and beneficial service in its day, with the widespread availability today of affordable, functional web hosting options, it is no longer central to our mission.

State Library and our host KU Medical Center’s Internet Development Unit will be working together to develop a plan for notifying account holders, and identifying ways to facilitate migrating sites and content where the owner wishes to do so.”

Questions? Contact:

Jeff Hixon
Director
Statewide Services
State Library of Kansas
300 SW Tenth Ave | Rm 312-N
Topeka KS 66612·1593
785·296·3154  | 800·432·3919
785·368·7291  FAX

We are proud to offer communities an affordable alternative with even more benefits than Blue Skyways. To begin migrating your Blue Skyways website content to a new home on LoveSmallTownAmerica.com, contact us today.

Luke Mahin, Sales 

E-mail: Luke@LoveSmallTownAmerica.com

Phone: 785-374-3067

About Love Small Town America: 

Love Small Town America, Inc. is a Grainfield, Kansas based online network for small towns founded by Nicole Godek providing full-service online solutions for small towns to get their town, local businesses, real estate offerings, events calendar, and more online and to promote their needs and assets while also building an international network that members can leverage to reach their goals.  Love Small Town America provides professional and innovative webpage design, content writing, webpage updates, website marketing, web hosting, website maintenance, SEO, website renovations, and social media advertising for members. All-inclusive webpage packages start at $225 annually. For more information, visit www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com

Small town population: The story behind the numbers

73 Kansas counties participate in the Rural Opportunity Zones program.

73 Kansas counties participate in the Rural Opportunity Zones program.

Small communities are often worried about population. According to a Carsey Institute report, rural America contains 75% of the country’s land and 17% of its population. Understanding shifts in population and 21st century opportunities in rural America are important for everyone.

Stereotypes abound about small town, rural America. Stereotypes like backwards towns, where everyone wears overalls and drives a tractor. Stereotypes like isolated ghost towns. Stereotypes like a dead end road of limited opportunities.

In reality, only 6% of rural residents are employed in agriculture. In reality, many small towns are meccas for new types of industries, or at least, new-to-them industries. In reality, many small towns are becoming tourist destinations, research centers, or tranquil homes for telecommuters.

Population numbers mean a lot to small communities. Population means workers filling jobs, families purchasing homes, and children filling schools. Population means a tax base, voter base, and volunteer pool. Population means friends and neighbors and a vibrant existence.

The Rural Opportunity Zones program is one way Kansas is turning the tide of out-migration. Young people in their 20s are predominantly the demographic moving out of rural America. The ROZ program extends a tempting offer – move to certain Kansas counties and start life fresh, without the monkey of student loan debt on your back and with enticing income tax offers. Start your life where your community appreciates you, where your presence is vital, where you can fill an important role.

Since the program’s launch in 2012, 1,450 people have applied to move to ROZ counties. Many of these people have spouses and families. Maybe 1,450 seems like a huge number to you; maybe it seems small. But, in a town like our headquarters of Grainfield, population 277, even one new family makes a difference.

If one new family moved to every small town in the country, how would that change the landscape of rural America? It’s an exciting thought. Maybe one town would get a doctor, or another would find the perfect volunteer to run the school carnival, or to restore a beautiful Victorian home. Every person moving to rural America makes a difference. That’s why we’re so excited to support a program that has thousands of people interested in moving to rural Kansas.

Currently, we’re proud to call 6 of the 73 counties participating in the Kansas ROZ program LSTA members. Hopefully, this number will continue to grow! Our 2014 ROZ Website Scholarship is accepting applications until May 1, 2014. Learn more here.

Sheridan County Awarded $600 for Community Development

Sheridan County and Hoxie received nearly $600 as part of the Love Small Town America Shared Success Program.

Sheridan County and Hoxie received nearly $600 as part of the Love Small Town America Shared Success Program. Left-right: Brent Moss, Nicole Godek, Mitch Moss, Julianne Shoup, Darnelle Keith, Darren Oelke, Krista Rice.

Love Small Town America, Inc. awarded Sheridan County with $576 as part of the Love Small Town America Shared Success Program. Sheridan County and Hoxie received an award for helping enroll small businesses and other organizations as members on the county’s new webpage.

Sheridan County Extension Community Development PDC will use the funds to advertise the webpages and to pay for maintaining current information on the webpage. The committee plans to invest those funds in updating business listings and using newspaper ads to publicize the county’s new online presence www.discoversheridancounty.com  on the LoveSmallTownAmerica website.

“In the past, our community has not had a strong online presence or a central location for community members to find community information. That is what we hope our Love Small Town America sites will become for our community. Our goal was to create a sustainable website that the community interacts with and we are excited to see how it will grow through Love Small Town America,” said Julianne Shoup, Twin Creeks Extension Agent.

Residents are encouraged to submit events, job postings, and community pictures to the website (sheridancountyks@lovesmalltownamerica.com), follow the Sheridan County and Love Small Town America Facebook pages, and consider how their business could benefit from creating a page on the Sheridan County and Hoxie websites.

The additional exposure the county and city get due to the Love Small Town America webpage are key for awareness of what our community has to offer and for growth, says Shoup. 
 
“The Shared Success Program is a great way to create a maintenance fund that will sustain your website over time and help keep the content current, which is vital to the success of a community website,” explains Shoup. 
 
Sheridan County received a scholarship from the Kansas Department of Commerce to cover the cost of their first year of membership on Love Small Town America as part of a campaign to provide websites to ROZ counties. Another scholarship round will occur during spring 2014. 
 
Love Small Town America is dedicated to providing small towns with an affordable, comprehensive online presence and access to a national network of small town promotional opportunities and resources. Love Small Town America integrates a comprehensive website package with free advertising for members and rich features like job listings, a community calendar, and a photo gallery.
 
For more information about joining Love Small Town America, contact:

Luke Mahin, Sales 

E-mail: Luke@LoveSmallTownAmerica.com

Phone: 785-374-3067

About Love Small Town America: 

Love Small Town America, Inc. is a Grainfield, Kansas based online network for small towns founded by Nicole Godek providing full-service online solutions for small towns to get their town, local businesses, real estate offerings, events calendar, and more online and to promote their needs and assets while also building an international network that members can leverage to reach their goals.  Love Small Town America provides professional and innovative webpage design, content writing, webpage updates, website marketing, web hosting, website maintenance, SEO, website renovations, and social media advertising for members. All-inclusive webpage packages start at $225 annually. For more information, visit www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com

 

Highlights of Ness County

Scenic vistas like this await you in Ness County.

Scenic vistas like this await you in Ness County.

It’s hard to know which historical treasure defines Ness County, Kansas most. Is it the homestead of famed inventor George Washington Carver? Or is it the 19th century limestone bank building known as the “Skyscraper of the Plains”? For all these reasons, and many more, Ness County is a proud home to heritage that celebrates the past while looking to the horizon. Continue reading

Everyone’s Favorite Home-Grown Festival: The Sheridan County Fair

The Sheridan County Fair is fun for the whole family.

The Sheridan County Fair is fun for the whole family.

Amidst the whirling carnival rides and stalks of corn (entered in Tallest Corn Contest, of course), the heart of the Sheridan County Fair beats in time with the community. This Kansas fair is completely volunteer-organized and run and unique, personal touches fill the summer event from start to finish.

The 2013 Sheridan County Fair theme is “Blue Jeans and Children’s Dreams” – a fitting homage to an event that figures in many fond memories and draws participants to Sheridan County every year.

Sheridan County Fair

The Sheridan County Fair is an annual treat.

“Everyone comes home for the Sheridan County Fair!” says Julianne Shoup, K-State Extension Agent.

The Sheridan County Fair features family favorites like the Friday evening parade, the rodeo, carnival, Kiss the Pig Contest, Tallest Corn Contest, and 4-H food auction and livestock sale. These events are a good time for spectators – but why watch when you can get in the middle of the action? Everyone is invited to enter something in the Sheridan County Fair, which showcases unique talents and crafts like restoring antiques and growing prize blooms.

The Sheridan County Fair carnival offers fun late into the summer night.

The Sheridan County Fair carnival offers fun late into the summer night.

Don’t miss the event that has northwestern Kansas talking, year after year. There’s still time to submit entries for the fair. Visit the Sheridan County Fair Board webpage for more details and entry forms or join them on Facebook.

Download a full schedule of events.

We are always growing our network of small towns, organizations, and businesses. If you’re interested in joining Love Small Town America and getting an affordable home on our small town network, e-mail us to get started or learn more here

Made in America

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Happy Independence Day, Americans! We hope that all of you are enjoying a day spent with close friends and family, celebrating 237 years of deciding to be free. This is a holiday many small towns embrace, uniting in patriotic displays like parades and dazzling fireworks shows and we absolutely love that. However, we know not everyone is on holiday and so if you’re stuck at a computer today, we wanted to offer you something patriotic to celebrate – a random sample of some of the awesome made-in-America products represented on Love Small Town America.

Entrepreneurs are the engine of America, and the do-it-yourself attitude of small business owners reminds us of the same spirit that compelled the founding fathers and built a prosperous nation. We didn’t buy America from some cheap factory overseas – we built it. It took a lot of time, and a lot of sacrifice. So, we ask you, what’s more American than something made in America? Without further ado, we’d like to celebrate all great American businesses, and salute some of the businesses in our network  making goods in America!

Double D Mats – These mats are environmentally conscious and a friend of the rancher’s bottom line. Double A’s for Double D!

Formation Plastics – A state of the art business in Quinter is pushing the envelope!

Country Sudz – Luscious, luxury bath goodies that are a true cottage enterprise!

There are many other wonderful businesses out there making things in America. This Independence Day, we salute you!

We are always growing our network of small towns, organizations, and businesses. If you’re interested in joining Love Small Town America and getting an affordable home on our small town network, e-mail us to get started or learn more here