Retreat attracts rural Kansas leaders
Marci Penner, Distinguished Kansan of the Year in 2005 for her efforts in promoting rural Kansas, returned to The Barn Bed and Breakfast Inn at Valley Falls last week to lead the 19th annual Retreat for Relentless Rural Leaders.
Penner is executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation at Inman and led the effort for Kansans to select the state’s 8 Wonders in nine categories in recent months.
Including the 24 nominations in architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people, the effort defined and highlighted over 200 things to see and do in Kansas. A feature of every retreat is to take a bus tour of area small towns and this year they went to Everest, Denton, Bendena, and Muscotah.
Penner said the next big drive will be to find ways to entice young professionals ages 21 to 39 back to our rural Kansas towns in a program called “Power Up.”
“They will enrich our communities and give them a future,” Penner said.
To get them here, she is enlisting the help of the established folks over 39 in the community who will, she said, “Power On.”
The 28 people in attendance represented a like number of communities scattered across the state who were searching for ways to improve their towns.
Photo by Clarke Davis
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