Brainstormers Advance Ideas for Marketing

McCook, Neb. -- Several common themes emerged Thursday night as groups of volunteers gathered to present ideas formarketing McCook and making it a more attractive community for people to call home. The groups have been meeting over the past four to five weeks as part of the Marketing Hometown America program.

McCook was chosen as one of five communities in Nebraska to participate in the effort that is sponsored by Great Plains Communication and the McCook Community Foundation Fund. Supporters include the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce, the McCook Economic Development Corporation, the Center for Enterprise at McCook Community College and its being spearheaded by Ben Dutton, a community educator with the University of Nebraska Extension.

After each of the study group leaders presented their finding to the entire room, participants were asked to vote for three ideas that they felt should be top priorities. Volunteers then offered to serve as project leaders for each project. The group gave top priority to five projects.

1. Develop a comprehensive web site that is mobile friendly, physically appealing, continually updated, and most importantly, contains a community calendar. Bill Longnecker volunteered to be the project leader.
2. Develop a vacant home-steading program, which would make an inventory of vacant homes available to newcomers in exchange for relocating to McCook and providing sweat equity to make improvements to the home. This will be spearheaded by Kerri Long
3. Develop a George Norris tribute, which will be led by Cloyd Clark.
4. Develop a neighborhood event trailer, a unique idea that includes a kit that would be used to host neighborhood parties. The purpose is to improve engagement and broaden the opportunity for communication between neighbors. It would help newcomers feel more integrated into their neighborhoods, and ultimately the community as a whole. Tor Olson will spearhead that project.
5. Develop a community slogan that encompasses everything that McCook has to offer, including our recreational assets. Carol Schlegel is in charge of that project.

The next step in the process is for project leaders to recruit members to help make the ideas become reality.

There will be a town hall meeting at the Fox Theatre on July 7 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. where the chosen priorities will be presented to the entire community.