First stop on the Hometown Heroes tour Grinnell

Published: Jul. 7, 2016 at 5:31 PM CDT
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KWCH is taking our show on the road touring the state in search of hometown heroes that make their communities Kansas Proud.

The first stop on the tour is Grinnell, Kansas.

Grinnell was founded more than one hundred years ago - and is thought to be the second oldest town in Gove county. Some of the earliest people to live here were Civil War veterans. It was also settled by buffalo hunters and railroad workers.

The Cow Patty Golf Course

One of the things that makes Grinnell unique is its golf course.

The Cow Paddy Golf Course is a nine-hole, green grass course that is completely run by volunteers.

The Thunder Hawk golf team plays on the course. They have a local group that teaches kids to play. The course hosted a tournament in the spring.

The cost is $10 for the green fee.

Grinnell Proud

While Grinnell may be small it still has a lot of pride. One group that has worked to keep the town going strong for decades is the community pride organization.

Carol Karlin knows a thing or two about community involvement. She's been doing it for nearly 40 years.

"I'm an original member. We started in 1978 and have been continually in pride programs ever since," said Karlin.

Jana Huse is another volunteer who actively works to keep the Grinnell moving forward.

"Basically, anything that's involved in what the community needs," said Huse. "You know we work with organizations, we're working with building the businesses together."

With big cities like Denver and Kansas City to compete with along I-70, it can be a challenge to convince people to opt for a small town instead.

"We need young families. our school enrollment has dropped dramatically. to entice young families to town, you have to have some amenities," said Karlin.

Those amenities - the grocery store, the library, the senior center...

all projects brought to life by the pride group.

"I call them our crown jewels," she continued.

They are also taking the extra step to get their town noticed.

"We had a graphic designer come in and came up with our logo and our slogan is 'The Windmill Town', that we're united in pride and working together," said Huse. "We're hoping to incorporate this into signs and brochures and t-shirts and activities and all kinds of things going forward."

All that effort - because they know their small town is worth it.

"I was recently in San Francisco, and you know all we saw were tall buildings, streets, sidewalks and concrete. so it was nice to come back to Grinnell and the wide-open spaces," said Huse.

Karlin says it has had its ups and downs.

"But we're still here, and we intend to be here!"