Definitely, first check out this video:

Did you check out the video? If you didn’t, go back to it. It’s short, and it’s excellently done.

Okay, I am now trusting you watched it. Don’t let me down. 🙂

If someone would have told me eight years ago Hutchinson, Kansas, would capture my heart, I would have looked at him/her with a perplexed stare, politely smiled, and thought, “Wow, you’re crazy!” before changing the subject. However, back in July of 2007, a chance conversation led to a job interview where that afternoon my life would change for the better with the signing of a contract and starting a new chapter in Central Kansas. Since then, so much has happened that has given me the ability to grow, reflect, and work towards a greater future. Plus, along that journey, so many wonderful opportunities have come my way.

Recently, one of those great opportunities was being asked to join the Hutchinson Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, a dream that had been mine ever since one summer when I kept myself out of trouble by playing intern for them (I even cleaned out their catch-all room so I could have a pretend office. It had an excellent view.).

Thanks to my being on the board, I had the duty of serving as a greeter this last Sunday evening as the 400+ people walked into the place to celebrate the past, present, and future of the Hutchinson Community Foundation. Where I ended up standing was slightly awkward, for this guy was staring and smiling right at me the entire time.

Some Random Guy on a Banner

Thankfully though, between diverting my gaze whenever possible and meeting/talking to some amazing people who have dedicated so much time and resources into the community, I was able to distract myself from that said guy.

Soon, the actual event began with great music, desserts, speakers, videos (like the one above you watched), and children running into the room and giving out t-shirts for us to give to the children in our lives. Plus, there was magic.

HCF Celebration
The decorations and lighting was quite nifty too!

The night closed with our being asked to reflect on what in Reno County has captured our heart, and I sat there with a paper heart in front of me where we were to write our response. One single thing was impossible to put down (by now, you have clearly figured out that being concise is not my strong suit), so needless to say, my answer became a list: Hutchinson Community College, Downtown Hutch, Sand Hills State Park, the Trails, the Vitality Team, the People, and Hutchinson Community Foundation. That list easily could have been much longer, but I am trying to curve my verbosity at least a tad.

As we move forward, the Hutchinson Community Foundation has a great a plan for success (you can read about its goals and also the event here), which in turn means Reno County has a bright future in front of it. Already in the last 25 years, the Foundation has played key roles in so many different ways (while I sat in my pretend office that summer, I read through as much of the Foundation’s history that I could find) from the formation of the Boys and Girls Club here in town to Strataca, the Underground Salt Museum, to the renovation of the beautiful Fox Theatre to the really nifty trailhead at our Dillons Marketplace to so many countless other things that make Reno County a great place to call home. The Foundation’s past has been one of success, and there is no doubt that its future is going to be even more so.

Only fate knows how long I will be here in Reno County, but no matter where the future takes me, one thing is for sure – #ihearthutch.


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