CHADRON – Whether it’s events like Fur Trade Days and Old West Trail Rodeo, or one of the region’s many museums, feeding the underprivileged or delivering flowers to the hospital-bound, Northwest Nebraska depends on volunteers to fill a variety of roles.
What happens when enough volunteers aren’t available?
“Northwest Nebraska almost lost the Ride the Ridge and Governor’s Pine Ridge Turkey Hunt this year because the volunteers who served those events for decades retired,” said Discover Northwest Nebraska director Kerri Rempp. “No one wants to see our events discontinued or our museums shuttered. Likewise, the importance of volunteers to efforts like the Flower Mission or Closer to Home are important to the quality of life for our neighbors and family.”
“Community development depends on volunteers in a variety of leadership positions including boards, committees and even elected office,” added Deb Cottier, director of Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation and the manager of Leadership Chadron. “We are looking for ways to help sustain the pool of volunteers needed for all those roles.”
Discover Northwest Nebraska, the Chadron Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation, the Heartland Center for Leadership Development and UNL Rural Prosperity have teamed up to bring “Creating Relationships to Cultivate Community” to help the region build connections and volunteer capacity.
The session will be led by Milan Wall of the Heartland Center for Leadership Development and also draw upon experience from UNL Rural Prosperity Extension representatives.
“Communities can be intentional about transitioning their leadership roles to the next generation, and those that do will continue to thrive into the future,” Wall said. “Leadership recruitment and engagement and its role in creating thriving communities will all be topics of conversation.”
The first session will be June 6 at 6 p.m. at City S’liquors Tap Room with light refreshments served. The final session will be June 7 at noon at the Platte Valley Bank Community Center, with a light lunch served. Civic organizations, leaders, mentors and potential volunteers are encouraged to attend to learn how to make a difference in Northwest Nebraska.