Concordia Visit


Concordia Visit

I think what I'll always remember about my governor visit to Concordia is how much fun the club is...this is in large part due to their dynamic, effervescent, and passionate club president, Patrick Sieben. I laughed and smiled the whole meeting.  I have gotten to know Patrick fairly well, this being our 3rd face to face meeting, as well as several phone calls and even a few emails, but "no texting," per Patrick.  Patrick is a music professor at Cloud county community college.  OBTW:  being a graduate of a community college (Butler), I always new how important the local community colleges are, but my visits have amplified that appreciation; at almost ever club the local community college provides a significant leadership presence.

In addition to being fun, Concordia received the district award for "Top SERVICE project!" They took the lead on a  $150,000 community park playground. They raised the monies, did the marketing, and lead a weeklong community work group of over 300 volunteers (please see accompanying photos!!!!)

Here are just a few of their other projects and fund Raisers:
Grocery grab, silent auction at the Fall Fest, fireworks sales, Trail mix sales, purple pinkie (polio awareness), Avenue of flags, Farm/town luncheon, provided 4 way test to State Legislators (now that’s a great idea!), and giving of Rotary clocks and dictionaries to grade schools. There's more but you get the drift!!!

Another OBTW: at the invitation of local Rotarian, State senator Elaine Bowers, “The First Lady of Kansas,” Mary Brownback, who was in town doing charity work, along with 4 Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism officers, joined us.  Two of them, Rob Unruh and Matt Farmer gave me a first hand tour of one of the most picturesque wetlands in country, Jamestown Refuge. I loved learning how Rob and Matt manage the water levels to maximize the habitat for all the wildlife, and I greatly appreciate their passion for "passing on" their love of the out doors to youth.  They have designated several areas "just" for youth.  Thanks to Rob and Matt.

My city tour was given by two more of my "Rotary Mentors," Past District Governor Bob and one of my Assistant Governors, Lorene Steimal, who both know more about Rotary (and finance) than I will ever know...  We of course got to see the new park playground, and then went to the "Whole Wall Mural," a vary unique hand carved, brick wall that depicts the history of Concordia... You would just have to see it to understand it, but I'm telling you, I've never seen anything like it in my travels.

Next we hit the "Brown Grand Theatre," which was constructed in 1906. Concordia sets half way between Kansas City and Denver, and was, of course situated on the major railway and mode of transportation for that era, thus, as the major theatre companies traveled to and from these two major cities, they would stop in Concordia, spend the night, and give a performance at this incredible venue (build it and they will come!). Again, I am not one for hyperbole, but I have to say this is the "grandest" theatre I have seen outside of New York City and the Sydney Opera house, and the one in Paris.  I look forward to, taking my wife to a live show there someday soon.

Finally, we visited the Sister's of St Joseph, Nazareth Mother House, which was constructed in 1903.  By providing education and health care SERVICES throughout the community, the Sisters have so greatly impacted the lives of many.  The Sisters remain entwined in the community and hold many leadership positions throughout it. They are a great example to all of us, whether we are Rotarians or not.

It was truly another great day in Kansas!  Rotary club of Concordia, thank you for sharing your communities story with me!