October 2021 Update
In an effort to keep everyone informed of the work RevitalizeYC is doing to serve the community, below are details of the current projects RYC is working on and the progress made so far.
Walmart Grant / Mural Project
Walmart Grant monies came in to fund a community-wide engagement and revitalization Mural Project. This Mural Project supports community revitalization, strengthens the local community through shared vision and effort, and leaves a lasting legacy of enjoyment for years to come! RevitalizeYC board members were all ecstatic to receive this grant totaling $1,500.
Murals have become a trend across rural Kansas. Here's a short story explaining why more small towns are starting to turn to larger-than-life outdoor artwork. (Link Here)
BREP reports are Economic Development Business Retention and Expansion Surveys. The information for these surveys was collected by RYC members who broke into teams who interviewed Woodson County businesses owners. All together we interviewed over 30 businesses, the collected information has been sent to an Economic Development Advisory team who will take our findings and give us an expert overview of our community and how best to support our businesses. This team intends to have the reports compiled for us by December, including action steps for business retention and expansion.
PRIDE Sign Placement:
PRIDE Sign placement is still being looked into. We are seeking a place where the sign can be permanently placed and visible upon entering Yates Center. Due to regulations along the highway, placing it on personal property would be ideal. Sign placement will need to be along Highway 54 or 75 coming into town. If you would be interested in helping out and allowing a sign to be placed on your property, please contact a RevitalizeYC board member for more information on how you can help.
Collaborative Community Planning Workshop:
In November, we will have a collaborative community planning session, where we will go over the First Impressions report. Representatives from City Council, County Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce plan to attend. We are excited to share information we have learned from the K-State First Impressions report. It is very informative and tells many pros and cons with suggestions addressing both sides.
Our mission is to share knowledge, and then brainstorm ideas with other city and county agencies to work towards embracing and improving our community on many levels. RevitalizeYC is excited to get to work with the city and county municipalities on this project. We hope we will be able to collaborate and develop a concrete plan of action to move our community forward.
New Board Members:
New board members were again discussed. We are looking for a Media Manager, Treasurer, Secretary, and Community Liaison. If you're interested in joining our team, check out our Community Teams page and our Available Board Positions page. There's a simple online application - we would love to have you! We are always looking for individuals who are passionate about Woodson County that are interested in joining our organization.
RevitalizeYC has applied for and has been awarded a Kansas PRIDE grant in the amount of $2,000!! After hearing our First Impressions Report done by Nancy Daniels from K-State Research & Extension. One of the consistent comments from the “secret” visitors to our town, was the amount of dilapidated houses and general lack of beautification PRIDE throughout the town. With this money, and help from the Kansas PRIDE Program through K-State Research and Extension we will be able to help address this concern. The project will provide paint to a limited number of residents to paint their doors. When the all details are assembled and ready to be published, we will share those with you.
Web Presence & Branding Workshop:
Local Instructional Design Specialist Chari Bauman is partnering with RevitalizeYC to offer a learning experience for SE Kansas small business owners like we haven't seen before: She's working to tailor instruction to the specific needs of our local businesses so that during the workshop, concrete action steps can be taken to help local entrepreneurs determine how they want their brand to come across to potential customers, ensure they're making the biggest impact on consumers and clients online, and build relationships and trust while ensuring those who find their business online can find what they need - all steps that can lead to increased sales and a better business reputation. If you're interested, be sure to take this short survey - it will help our instructor build the workshop to best suit the needs of your business, focusing on the content that you need to be successful: (SURVEY HERE)
Be sure to participate early on if you'd like a shot at this unique opportunity - workshop spots will be limited to maximize the benefit to each participant. Sign up for email updates at the end of the survey if you'd like the latest news on the workshop.
Yates Center Elementary (PreK - 5th) Penny War:
Revitalize YC worked on a project with our Elementary School Students. The Penny War was a friendly competition between grade levels. The winning class won by generating the most money in pennies; as silver and cash deducted from your tally. Kindergarten was the winning class; winning Community Pride T-shirts. The class who generated the most money was 4th grade, however they were also the most sabotaged and ended with a negative of almost 400.00. The monies collected were given to Friends for Life in a total of just under $2000.00; producing a tremendous win for our whole community.
A huge thank you goes out to our sponsors for this event.
- Piqua State Bank
- Still Waters Edge Retreat, LLC
- YC Dental
- Hardy Fence
- Light Hardware
Future Merchant Signs:
RevitalizeYC Future Merchant signs for the Town Square is something new up for discussion. These signs would announce future businesses in the works. This would introduce support and excitement to the new business owners and its future patrons.
The full report was given by the Fall Festival Committee. This committee was given approximately six weeks and a total of $300.00 to put together a Festival to coincide with Friends for Life’s walk and auction. Each member worked furiously brainstorming ideas and addressing the question of, “How to get it accomplished with limited money and time.” We decided to ask our community and businesses to help us, and they came through BIG! Funding received not only supported a Saturday event with vendors and children’s festivities, but also a Friday night hayride and Country music dance. The dance was at the Light Hardware building, and it was made possible due to the generosity of John Atkin IV and Lesli Banner.
Friday night’s hayride began outside of the Light Hardware building; it went around the square and out around the gazebo at Yates Center’s Graceland Cemetery. The storyteller aboard gave informative information about Woodson County and how Yates Center came to be the county seat. From what I heard there were plenty of mystery and some questionable information… However, the storyteller was quick to state true storytellers are known to stretch facts so it was up to those listening to figure out for themselves what were indeed fact and/or fiction! Thank you to Papa Rob’s for cooking hamburgers and hotdogs for the hungry patrons.
Saturday was a beautiful day, a bit brisk in the morning and plenty of afternoon sunshine. Due to generous sponsorship, The bouncy houses were free to all children with no limit of time. Let me tell you there were many happy children and relieved parents who did not have to pay. Again, thank you sponsors! Children also enjoyed pumpkin decorating hosted by State Farm Insurance, fall crafts by Gary’s Lawn care, and face painting was provided by Amanda Mulsow’s daughter, Tia, and her friend.
Also, on the square, RYC provided live music for your entertainment: Tom Hibbard’s band, Cedar Creek Crossing, played and they were fantastic. Following their entertainment was Casey Cook, who is a very talented pianist and vocalist, was a complete pleasure to hear. Adjacent to the music stage was a beer garden hosted by our very own Vaquero’s Mexican restaurant. RYC’s fall festival supported 28 vendors who sported various goods such as antiques and collectables, homemade baked goods, local honey, and multiple types of crafts.
Amidst all these activities, a soup and chili cook off was in full swing; Mark Hobbs won with his chili and Savannah Leach won with her soup.
The magnitude of this two-day event was made possible by you the people in our community. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, from Revitalize YC!
Reported by Karen Faulkner
How Can I Help?
The holiday shopping season is right around the corner. Remember, Amazon donates 0.5% of purchases when you sign up and use Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com), with RevitalizeYC as your designated charitable organization. You can support our organization and do your Christmas shopping at the same time.
Our timeless unisex Hometown Pride shirt featuring an illustration of the Historical Yates Center Town Square and a spooky depiction of Kalida Castle that are perfect gift ideas. They are available for purchase at Trade Winds Flea Market and the Cornerstone Bakery in Yates Center!
RYC has had magnets and postcards printed with photos by Jakes Pics (taken by Jason Shepard) for purchase. These are now available for purchase at the Yates Center Chamber of Commerce, Trade Winds Flea Market and the Cornerstone Bakery. Send these cards to your friends and family who no longer live here and give them a note along with a gift.
RevitalizeYC wants to thank the community, the city, and the county for their continued support.