Monday, August 27, 2007

Can Do, Wimbledon!

One of my favorite tours and talks over the past three years was in Wimbledon, ND (population 237). I played tennis in Wimbledon (the only place other than England that you can boost that) and still subscribe to their monthly newsletter. Mary Beth (Simenson) Olombel writes wonderfully newsy stories about the happenings in her small town.

Here is part of her editorial from this month’s edition.

There’s a spirit of optimism: The corps look good; prices are decent; gas prices at least haven’t shot up any higher. The local grocery store (a coop of
local members) is operating in the black; a new school year in the consolidated Barnes County North District is about to begin and new curricula emphasizing
math and science skills will be in place. The prospect of new jobs in Valley City(manufacturing) and Spiritwood (ethanol plant) hints at survival and maybe even prosperity.

So Why have I climbed up on my soapbox again?

I want more.

We could be doing more to put Wimbledon on the map.

She went on

Towns the size of Wimbledon and smaller have created events that bring people (and money) to their communities:

Page—population 235: Over 100 participated in the annual 5K run in June.

Pekin—population 80: Their juried art show was established in 1994 and is the largest in ND.

Dazey—population 87: Dazey Days bring many to the town 14 miles east of Wimbledon for the buffalo barbeque, pie social, parade and races.

And while we’re planning a festival, let’s plant some more flowers.
Kensal—population 161—has 20 hanging flower baskets and new flower
gardens planted by volunteers this year.

I just love the spirit of places like Wimbledon, that refuse to give up and are looking for ways to make themselves better.

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