Prairie Visions runs itself well – and parties well too

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 2, 1999

Government should be run like this.

Thursday, December 02, 1999

Government should be run like this. Make that the world.

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Nobody does it better than Prairie Visions.

The organization is 10 years old now. Four towns, Rose Creek, Adams, Taopi and LeRoy, banded together to take care of business. That means four mayors and four city councils had to agree upon something in common.

Considering that each of the towns is, by itself, an example of a proud community that takes care of its own and the inherent rivalries among them, getting them to agree to work together is no small accomplishment.

The efforts of the Prairie Visions faithful are paying off. True, Rose Creek, Adams, Taopi and LeRoy were always on the map along the Capitol Highway in Mower County.

Now, they’re destinations; not places that whiz by the car window.

It’s probably a case where you have to go far away from home to realize how important Prairie Visions is.

If you do that, you will learn that the organization designed to enhance the quality of life and spur economic development is considered a model for other communities in other states.

This reporter has had the privilege of watching Prairie Visions grow and Tuesday night that growth was celebrated at the annual "Get-Together," celebrating a decade of Prairie Visions.

At least, I think it was. It sure was a lot of fun for an official function. Prairie Visions does thing differently and the Get-Together was an example.

You meet the nicest people at a Prairie Visions Get-Together.

Bob Watts’ catered cooking was, again, superb and I sat next to Bill and Nettie McCloud, who reminded me that I got lost once and stopped by their place to ask directions.

Doug Hutchins, the laughing funeral director, was also at our table although I spent the evening calling him "Bob." I think it had something to do with that glass of wine he served me.

Mike Adams, Mr. Ice Haus bed and breakfast, announced he was back to working on his autobiography. Tom Yates of Cedar River Gardens sold his home-grown honey. Roman Landherr said he would have another Allis-Chalmers Day on his farm next summer. Harlan Boe said he is recovered from his injuries suffered in a spill this summer and planning on a bigger and better threshing show next August. Harold Eischens reminded me Taopi will celebrate its 125th anniversary August 26 in the year 2000 and that there are other families besides Kiefers living in Taopi and I shouldn’t forget that. Marilyn Thorstenson, the Adams City Clerk, told me how the city is going to expand its assisted living apartments at the Adams Health Care Center and "You should do a story on that" and I agreed.

I kept an eye on LeRoy Mayor Ed Koppen and two LeRoy city council members, Linda Sanders and T Jan Whisler, just in case. Gerald Meier told all of us his wife, Margie, is doing just fine and recovering from her surgery. They don’t come any better than Mrs. Meier. Bernie Halver and his wife, Joyce, said "Hello" and Mrs. Halver and I agreed the Good Lord must have been along side all those Habitat for Humanity volunteers building Dixie Bergstrom’s house in Adams to get it done so fast.

There was some kind of entertainer, singing songs and strumming a guitar, but I forgot just who she said she was. Once you’ve heard "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" sung in French, you kind of tune out anything else.

Mike Adams was telling me about his millennium plans on the way out the door, but I was trying to remember what Eileen Hutchins, Doug/Bob’s wife, said. It was something like "We want more people to experience the joy of working together with Prairie Visions."

Makes sense to me.

Congratulations, Prairie Visions, and happy birthday!

Lee Bonordon’s column appears Thursdays