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Love Small Town America Team Grows!

Jenny Russell joins Love Small Town America along with her associate, Luke Mahin.

Thanks to the continued support and enthusiasm for what Love Small Town America has to offer, we have recently expanded our team. Jenny Russell and Luke Mahin of JenRus Freelance have joined the other six members of the Love Small Town America core group to bring a heightened focus to serving Love Small Town America’s members and helping more small towns join the network and access an affordable web presence.  Continue reading

Grainfield Kansas’ Historic Opera House Gets Modern Addition

The Grainfield Opera House is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a stately and historic structure situated in the business district of Grainfield. At various points in its history it has held a private school, mercantile, hosted dances, and even been a car dealership. Now, it is home once more to musical performances and special events.

Lovingly restored by Grainfield, Kansas residents, the historic Grainfield opera house recently gained a new addition that promises to keep patrons happy for years to come.  Continue reading

Highlights of Jewell County, Kansas

The dock at beautiful Emerson Lake in Jewell County, Kansas.

With numerous annual events, abundant access to hunting and fishing and a population of just over 3,000, Jewell County offers a high amount of recreation per-capita. Located in North-central Kansas within a short distance of major highways,  Jewell County is populated by charming towns, including the county seat of Mankato, Jewell, Burr Oak, Esbon, and several others.

Continue reading

What’s in a Name…

JanSport’s “Grainfield” messenger bag is a wink at founder Skip Yowell’s small town roots.

This fall, why not show your small town pride by strapping a Grainfield bag to your back? JanSport co-founder Skip Yowell pays homage to his hometown of Grainfield, KS with the name of this stylish and practical messenger bag.

The rugged good looks and all-around utilitarianism of this line of bags named after frontier destinations from Grainfield to Fort Hays to Estes Park make them a great way to tote your gear in style. We love the iPad sleeve and laptop compartment on the Grainfield bag. Why not carry the Grainfield messenger bag on your next vacation through small town America?

Read more about notable Grainfield “alum” Skip Yowell in this story.

We’re Hiring! Join our Team

You’re passionate about small towns – friendly neighbors, community pride, an entrepreneurial spirit. You live in or near northwest Kansas. You’d love a part-time job with a flexible schedule. You drive yourself to meet goals, find creative ways to engage with people, and are a friendly go-getter. Does this sound like you? We’re accepting applications for a contract sales associate to bring communities, businesses, organizations, and schools online as members of Love Small Town America. You’ll be a part of a dynamic team collaborating across the country, have access to professional quality sales and marketing materials, and work with qualified leads and have the flexibility to prospect for your own. This position is half commission-based, so you control the amount of opportunity this provides. Day travel within the area is required but we’ll work out the details with the right candidate. What we’re most interested in is finding the right person to join our team.

Title: Sales Associate
Department: Contract Sales Division – Western Kansas
Reports to: VP of Sales – Grainfield, Kansas

Love Small Town America (http://www.lovesmalltownamerica.com/) seeks highly motivated part-time outbound sales associate based in Kansas to cultivate relationships with small towns and bring them on as customers. The ideal candidate will be able to work a flexible, remote schedule be passionate about small towns, and be a dynamic, friendly face for the company.

Job Objective: 
Responsible for sales activities, from lead generation through close in assigned territory. Develops and implements agreed upon sales plan to cultivate qualified leads, make presentations, close sales, and facilitate customer satisfaction and growth-oriented relationships.

Responsibilities:
– Responsible for the sales of Love Small Town America online representation to towns and counties, and their businesses, community organizations, schools, etc.
– Demonstrates effective communication skills and product knowledge that allows sales associate to give effective in-person and virtual presentations of Love Small Town America’s services.
– Calls on qualified leads and sets up presentations.
– Understanding of pricing models, including Shared Success program.
– Demonstrates the ability to carry on professional conversations with business owners and decision makers.
– Assists in the implementation of company marketing plans as needed.
– Assists in creation of effective sales proposal presentations.
– Assists in development of client relationships and referrals.
– Maintains accurate records of all sales and prospecting activities in the company system.

Job Specifications:
– Ideal candidate will be from a small town or currently live in a small town and demonstrate an understanding of small town dynamics.
– Willingness to travel and collaborate with a remote team of professionals.
– Technology literate with 24/7 access to high speed internet and a personal computer.
– Knowledge of economic development a plus.
– Commitment to helping small towns to prosper.
– Outgoing, highly self-motivated, goal-oriented personality essential to success.

Love Small Town America offers a creative, dynamic work environment committed to building a better future for America by bringing small towns and small town businesses and organizations online.

Deadline:
Send your resume and qualifications to Dan Godek, VP of Sales, at Dan@LoveSmallTownAmerica.com by August 7. This position is open until filled with rolling review after that.

About Love Small Town America
Love Small Town America is building a brighter future for small communities across the country. We are dedicated to preserving small town values while competing in a high tech world. We offer small towns and their businesses, organizations, and schools a professional web presence in a nationwide network.

Love Small Town America is a comprehensive website that catalogs and publicizes small town businesses, events, real-estate, and more, serving residents and reaching a vast online audience with the kinds of details they want to know about.

Along with a listing on the website, member towns and businesses receive a professionally designed and maintained webpage and promotional services. When you join Love Small Town America, you get more than a website: you join a network. For a low annual fee, small towns, businesses, organizations, and schools receive a dynamic presence on the web that shares their true personality with the world and they tap into a powerful nationwide network dedicated to helping one another prosper. Love Small Town America. Discover what’s waiting for you. 

Cruise, Shoes & Barbecues – A Small Town Celebration Worth Remembering

Classic cars are the "Cruise" part of the Cruise, Shoes & BBQs fundraiser in Grainfield, KS. The car show draws participants from all around.

This post is brought to you by Nicole Godek, CEO and Founder of Love Small Town America. 

My husband has a very creative mind. The ideas he comes up with typically don’t pan out, but it’s always entertaining to hear what he’s thinking. On occasion, one of his ideas works really well, however. Cruise, Shoes & BBQs is one of them.

Living in Grainfield, we often hear people say, “Remember Ag Days? They were so fun!” Fair-style rides. Parades and marching bands. Vendors in the park. Tons of people coming from all over. The image of Ag Days is still fresh in my mind. As I shared memories of that event with Dan, the wheels started turning on how to bring people to Grainfield again. Dan’s passion for BBQ seemed like an easy start. Then we added the rhyming words “Cruise” and “Shoes”. And Cruise, Shoes & BBQs was born.

Some of the volunteers behind the Cruise, Shoes and BBQs fundraiser in Grainfield, KS.

The first year Grainfield’s Harvest Market hosted the event with help from family and friends. The response was amazing! But we needed more hands to grow it. So, the Grainfield Community Development Committee took over and Cruise, Shoes & BBQs will celebrate 5 years next Memorial Day weekend!

This year marked Cruise, Shoes & BBQs’ 4th anniversary. The fundraiser is always hosted over Memorial Day weekend and this year, the two days were packed with entertainment. Friday evening featured a social in the park, vending from the BBQ teams, and a live performance at the historic Opera House (hosted by the Lions Club & Opera House Committee).

Saturday started with cars, motorcycles and a boat cruising in for the namesake Car Show. The barbecue competition is a big part of the weekend, and the aroma of BBQ in the air easily draws in a crowd! Horseshoes began around 10 A.M. on Saturday as did the kids’ activities.

Smoke pours out of the competitors' area where teams craft their best barbecue entries to be judged at the annual BBQ competition.

After a full day of fun, the barbecue competition awards presentation began at 3 P.M. with the buffet at 4:30 P.M. The buffet draws a big crowd since everyone wants to sample the BBQ teams’ pork and brisket. Then we rounded out the day with a dance. This year we offered a live performance from Uncle Turtle and the Live Action (a Gove County favorite) and it was a big hit.

A clown was on hand as part of the kids' activities at the annual Memorial Day weekend fundraiser. The clown was such a hit, he has already been booked for next year's event!

If we could have picked the worst day out of the year for weather, I think we did. There are only so many things you can plan ahead for and weather is not one of them. But despite the 50mph gusts and 100 degree temperature, everyone had a positive attitude. We are grateful that Marvin Beougher let us move the live music and dance into the American Legion. That saved us…and the many people that stuck around after the buffet.

Festivities carried on long into the night after the BBQ competition with a dance. The Grainfield American Legion generously allowed the event to move inside due to high winds. What a wonderful show of community support and fellowship!

My favorite part of the event is probably seeing so many people in Grainfield having a great time. We’re starting to make a name for ourselves and see people return year after year. It reminds me of “Cheers” when everyone yelled “Norm!” It’s those personal relationships that mean the most.

This year we added a clown and the kids loved him! He was amazing and his wife painted some incredible face art. (We’ve already booked them for next year!) We’re making improvements for next year, hoping to make it a Saturday/Sunday event instead of Friday/Saturday. We lose a lot of people to the high school state track meet (helpers and attendees) so we’re hoping to gain them back. Plus, by moving the event to Saturday/Sunday, BBQ teams and volunteers won’t have to take off work Friday.

An authentic native American tipi was on display during this year's 4th annual Cruise, Shoes & BBQs fundraiser in Grainfield, KS, withstanding high temperatures and even higher wind gusts.

I think people should come out to our event because you never know what you’re going to see in our small town. Last year we had a pig dancing on the dance floor. This year we had an authentic Tipi in the park (that withstood the wind!). Who knows what you’ll see next year. But guaranteed you’ll have a great time. And 40 years from now, hopefully we’ll hear people say, “Remember Cruise, Shoes & BBQs? That was so fun!”

-Nicole

 

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

Featured Organization: Grainfield’s American Legion A Place for Patriotism, Fun

A Flag waves 24/7 outside the Grainfield American Legion

A flag waves 24/7 outside the Grainfield Kansas American Legion. Image courtesy of social_d via Creative Commons License.

At the Grainfield, KS American Legion (George M. Scott Post 301), visitors can count on three things: food, fellowship, and fun. The American Legion’s webpage on Love Small Town America highlights the heritage of the local chapter.

Grainfield’s Legion Post in Grainfield, Kansas was named in honor of George M. Scott who died October 15, 1918 in France during the First World War. He was the first Gove County soldier to die in the war and is buried at the Gove Cemetery. The Legion was chartered in December of 1920 and currently has 64 members. This organization honors Veterans by providing a Color Guard at funerals and at Memorial Day Services.

Special events offer opportunities for community members to enjoy fellowship. On the last Wednesday of each  month, the American Legion hosts a Stag/Stagette supper. Bingo enthusiasts get their weekly fix each Sunday. A special Father’s Day Dinner celebrates dads. All events are listed on the Grainfield calendar and visitors are always welcome.

The American Legion building is a point of pride for the organization, known for being clean and well kept. It’s the perfect spot to host small town gatherings in Grainfield, where, in the words of American Legion representative Marvin Beougher, “Everybody knows everyone else. It’s very friendly.”

It’s worth a trip to Grainfield to visit the American Legion, where the flag flies outside 24/7 and visitors are always welcome in this friendly community.

Want the world to know about how great your group is? Businesses and organizations from participating Love Small Town America communities are eligible to be featured in an upcoming blog post. Get free publicity for your business, organization, or event as part of the Love Small Town America family. Contact us for more information!