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Greetings from Historic Red Cloud: Great Stories Grow Here! 

Set amid brick-lined streets, charming homes, historic buildings, and the immense beauty of the prairie, Red Cloud offers a glimpse into a storied American past while maintaining a progressive vision for the future. Great stories start in Red Cloud--add your own chapter today!

Click on the photo above to view just a few of the many highlights this year from the Red Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Tourism Development, the Red Cloud Community Fund, and the community at large. 

Red Cloud Rising: 2021 Year in Review

Nationally, 2021 was not a great year. Red Cloud did not escape its share of sorrow related to the pandemic and other tragedies, but nevertheless emerged from the calamity stronger than ever, making significant progress on several important projects and laying the groundwork for what promises to be a transformational decade for the community--especially its downtown. Keep reading for a quick recap of some of the year's highlights and help us celebrate the community's 150th anniversary! 

January saw a raging wildfire ravage rural parts of Webster County near Guide Rock followed quickly by a winter storm that dumped 10 inches of snow or more in the area. Bruce Springsteen visited the area in February, leading to Joe & Deb Shuck's front porch and the Republican River Bridge being featured in Jeep commercials that aired during Super Bowl. Springsteen visited the Center of the U.S. chapel just south of town, near Lebanon, KS. February was also remarkable for the sustained record cold temperatures, that plummeted to -33F on the 17th. In March, it was announced that the YWCA School of Dance and the Webster County Community Hospital's Repeat Street Thrift Store would move into the remaining retail bays in the National Willa Cather Center. 

Corbin Hoit and Cristina Rodriguez were named Prom King and Queen in April and the event was held at the Brader Barn near Pauline, NE (it will be at the Red Cloud Opera House in 2022!). Juan's Bar & Grill opened earlier in the month, in the former South 40 location. May saw the return of the Red Cloud High School Alumni Weekend & Banquet along with a Red Cloud Community Fund Garden Party at the Kaley House. RCHS Graduation also took place in the auditorium after taking place on a flatbed trailer in 2020. Carson McCleary won the Gold medal in the 300 meter hurdles in the Class D State Championships in Omaha. The 66th Spring Willa Cather Conference took place in June, featuring a hybrid mix of online and in-person events. Radhika Jones, editor of Vanity Fair magazine, was the keynote speaker. Tour de Nebraska visited the community in mid-June, camping in the City Park during the hottest day of the year with temperatures reaching 105F. 

Brad & Andrea Frey neared completion of work on the old Standard Oil/Stockaid Liquor store location in July. Eventually, the Frey's work would provide space for 4 businesses in the community, including Abundant Life Honey, Republican Valley U-Haul Rentals, Silver Spur, and Andrea's accounting office. Plans for Fat Fox's to setup their new mobile business were also announced with a probably February 2022 opening. The Red Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated "150 Years of Red Cloud Proud" during its Street Car Days celebration during the first full weekend of August, after taking 2020 off. Mike and Barb Kenny were named Grand Marshalls of the Street Car Days Parade while their son Matt and daughter-in-law Casey took over the family business, rechristening it Kenny's Hardware & Home Center (see the Get to Know feature below). Red Cloud Animal Health was named the Outstanding Business of the Year at the 71st Farmers & Merchants Banquet which was held on the 20th anniversary of September 11th and honored first responders and those whom have served in the military. Kolton Kucera and Celia McDole were named Homecoming King and Queen at RCHS. 

October was a particularly busy month with the community receiving over $800K in grants for various projects, the Red Cloud Community Fund raising nearly $24K for community projects (see story below), and Kyle Klein being named the Volunteer of the Year by the Nebraska Chapter of the AARP. The biggest story may have been the Warrior football team, however, as they had one of the best seasons in school history, surging as high as #3 in the state before falling to Pawnee City in the playoffs in an absolute heartbreaker. In November, the Red Cloud Community Fund hosted a Downtown Revitalization tour that showcased rehabilitation work going on at 6 different buildings downtown and detailed plans for 2 additional buildings. The Chamber's 13th annual Shopping Extravaganza brought life to downtown Red Cloud during the evening hours of Nov. 23rd and helped showcase the arrival of Twisted Petal Too, a new flower shop and bakery. Read the rest of this newsletter for a recap of December events--including Red Cloud legend Ardis Yost's 90th birthday!!! 

We can't wait to make new memories in 2022!

Red Cloud Community Fund makes year-end grants thanks to September Month of Giving donations

The Red Cloud Community Fund (RCCF) raised nearly $24K for local organizations and causes during the month of September. In December, RCCF was able to grant out that money. Pictured above, Top Left corner are RCCF member and Recreation & Health Committee Chair Stacie Heldt with donor Ana Armstrong (On the Brix) and fellow RCCF member Ashley Armstrong. RCCF raised $1,550 for Phase 1 of the RecreationTrail Project which will hopefully connect the Elementary School to The Valley Child Development Center (TVCDC). On the Brix also helped raise another $2000+ at a separate December fundraiser. 

Pictured in the Top Right Corner are Dr. Kerri Fangmeyer (Red Cloud Animal Health), Casey Fangmeyer, Mike Faimon (Gottsch Livestock Feeders), and Bridget Daehling (GTA Insurance Group). RCCF raised $3,525 to support upgrades at the Red Cloud Ballfields being spearheaded by Casey Fangmeyer and the Red Cloud Athletic Association

Pictured in the Middle Left Panel is Meggan Messersmith, Executive Director of TVCDC, and several school-aged children enrolled at the facility. RCCF raised $5,050 for TVCDC to help ensure the community has a high quality child care center. In all, RCCF has granted TVCDC $20,050 in 2021, in addition to funds raised specifically for TVCDC's use via RCCF's Child Care Account. 

Pictured in the Middle Right Panel are RCCF members Ashley Armstrong and Miles McDole, who are both involved in RCCF's Youth committee. RCCF raised $1,750 for its newly created Red Cloud Area Youth FAC account. 

Pictured in the Bottom Left corner are RCCF Chair Jarrod McCartney and Past Chair Ashley Olson accepting a $1,775 grant to RCCF's Heritage Tourism account. McCartney is the Heritage Tourism Development Director. Olson and McCartney both serve on the Heritage Tourism Advisory Committee. In all, RCCF has granted Heritage Tourism $16,775 in 2021

Pictured in the Bottom Center are Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) members Alise Perault and Dan Benedict along with RCCF member Jay Yost. Benedict is the President of the HPC. RCCF granted HPC $2,750 in 2020-21

Pictured in the bottom right-hand corner are Liz Rasser and Jarrod McCartney, accepting a $7,350 grant for the Hotel Garber project. Rasser is the Secretary for the Red Cloud Hotel, LLC while McCartney is the President. RCCF has a newly established Red Cloud Hotel account and can now accept donations of any amount for the project. 

RCCF's September Month of Giving Campaign has been a huge success, generating more than $39K for  immediate community needs in 2020-21. 

Make a year-end donation to the Red Cloud Community Fund

Community, Cultural, and eResources Asset Mapping to take place in Red Cloud during the month of January thanks to Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (E3) project 
 

A new statewide initiative known as Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (E3) is strengthening six Greater Nebraska hometowns. The three-year community-building experience will work to bolster entrepreneurial ecosystems in Valley County, Holt County, Keith County, Sidney, Red Cloud and McCook through extensive training, education and peer learning opportunities.

Part of the training includes doing community and "eResources" asset mapping. Red Cloud will host a Community Asset mapping activity at 6pm in the Red Cloud Opera House on Thursday, January 20th and follow it up quickly with the "eResources" mapping event in the National Willa Cather Center Conference room on Tuesday, January 25th at noon. Community asset mapping helps towns understand what they have to offer and is an excellent opportunity for residents to make their voices heard, especially if they feel underrepresented in the community. Since Red Cloud is considering applying to become a Creative District with the State of Nebraska, the Jan. 20th event will also feature Cultural Asset Mapping--an opportunity to help community leaders identify creative and artistic assets/people in the Red Cloud area. The "e" in "eResources" stands for "entrepreneur" and will consist of identifying resources available to help budding and long-time entrepreneurs. The meeting will also feature a resource provider from an organization like the Nebraska Business Development Center. Small business owners are encouraged to attend but asked to RSVP to Jarrod McCartney at jmccartney@redcloudnebraska.com due to space considerations. 

Through the generous support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Nebraska Community Foundation, NetWork Kansas and Valley County Economic Development worked closely to design and launch the Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (E3) program. While six communities form the initial E3 cohort, participating local leaders and entrepreneurs will each be asked to reach out to neighboring hometowns to join the effort, resulting in a total of 20 Greater Nebraska communities that will forge new connections to resources, training and peer networking and ultimately boost local prosperity.

Warriors and Warcats Winter Sports Seasons in Full Swing

 

Girls and Boys Basketball and Girls and Boys Wrestling seasons kicked off in November/December. Keep up with all the Warrior events by subscribing to Red Cloud Community Schools Google Calendar. Some events are streamed live--follow the school's Facebook page for links and more information. Pictured to the left overwhelming his opponent is Warcat wrestler Riley Lambrecht. 

Research Business & Job Opportunities on visitredcloud.com

We are in the process of revamping and reorganizing the Jobs & Business Opportunities page on our website. Top jobs are listed in detail and you can find jobs organized by business by scrolling down the page. Current top jobs include multiple positions at Heritage Care Center (included the Administrator position), Program Tech position at the USDA's Farm Service Agency office, and a Manager Trainee position at CPI. Click here to learn more

Ardis Yost Celebrates 90th Birthday! 

Family and friends gathered at the Red Cloud Opera House on Dec. 18th to celebrate the 90th birthday of Ardis Yost. Yost was also honored this month by the Lions Club with the Ardys Miksch award for volunteer service to the community. Yost is still active in several organizations and is often the first friendly face newcomers meet thanks to her organization of the Chamber's Welcome Packet, which she delivers personally. 

Yost is pictured below (middle) with her children (L to R): Jeff, Jay, Sally, Jerry, Suzi, and Jake. 

Red Cloud in the News
Soups & Rolls for the Soul
January 23, 2022
Crossroads: Change in Rural America
Feb. 18 to Mar. 31, 2022
Easter egg Hunt & Children's Event
April 16, 2022
Lemon Fresh Day
January 29, 2022 
Kerry Grombacher
February 26, 2022
Alumni Weekend
May 27-30, 2022
72nd Farmers & Merchants Banquet
January 28, 2022

A night to celebrate the business community and the people who keep those businesses in business. Figure out who the business of the year will be and see new businesses get their first dollar of business. Also see who the Volunteer of the Year will be!

The Chamber of Commerce is also committed to improving the silent auction and will feature items from Red Cloud businesses and experiences in nearby communities. The Kearney Visitors Bureau has already donated a date night package that includes a free night at the Best Western Plus, Tri-City Storm tickets, free admission to the Archway, Classic Car Museum, and firefighters museum. The Graduate Hotel in Lincoln will also be donating a package. 

There will also be raffle items. Contact Adam Vetter (avetter@bankonheritage.com) or Kyle Klein (kklein@websterhospital.org) if you'd like to donate an item or items. 

View All Events

MATT & CASEY KENNY
Owners

Check out these new ads for Heritage Tourism and the Willa Cather Foundation. Look for them in regional magazines and other trade publications soon. Interested in bringing a large group to Red Cloud? Then make sure to read these ads closely to see what we have to offer!!! 
Request Your Red Cloud Travel Packet
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Copyright © *2021* *Red Cloud Tourism & Commerce*, All rights reserved.
*Volume 5.12 You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website.

Our mailing address is:
Red Cloud Tourism & Commerce
413 N. Webster St. 
Red Cloud, NE 68970
visitredcloudne@gmail.com 
Additional Photos: 
Jarrod McCartney * Rachel Olsen * Alex Trew * Patti Yaussi * Rob Olsen * Cindy Ryman Yost * Casey Kenny *  Slideshow: Amy Roh/Hastings Tribune * Kim Ely * Wade Leak * Jeep * Cheyenne Knehans * Keri Fangmeyer * Stacie Heldt * Sheryl McCracken * Jarrod McCartney * Rachel Olsen * Ana Armstrong * Val Benge * Adam Vetter * Lisa Mahin * Janny Crotty/Nebraska Community Foundation * Dennis Hansen * Ashley Armstrong * Casey Kenny  

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Red Cloud/Blue Hill Warcat wrestler Lily Gomez getting the best of her opponent.