We'll miss ya!

Kristen Hooper, director of Peabody Main Street recently left us for the fast lane in Wichita. Kristen wanted to be closer to her family and pursue some career options in a more urban setting. In her 18 months in Peabody she did an excellent job promoting the community and our Main Street program. We will miss her.

One of the reasons her departure is so difficult is because she was tapping into a segment of volunteers that hadn't been tapped in the past: the 20- and 30-year-olds of the community that make up a good-sized portion of our population. They are important to our future, but we hadn't been able to pull their youthful energy in our network of volunteers.

They've chosen this community. They've decided to buy homes here, pay taxes, put their children in our schools, shop at our businesses, and become players in Peabody's tomorrow. Kristen did a good job of letting them know they were needed. She opened that door for us. Now it's our job to keep it open and aggressively encourage Peabody's younger generation to stay involved.

When forming committees for the comprehensive plan, currently underway, special attention was paid to this demographic group. Their input into the plan has been invaluable. Items such as high speed Internet access, walking trails, successful schools, exercise and recreation options probably wouldn't have been identified as important if this age group hadn't been identified.

Whoever claims the position of full-time director for Peabody Main Street will have big shoes to fill. Kristen set the standard for what we want in our next director. And, even though life choices have taken her back to Wichita, we hope she will be back one day. She remains connected to Peabody and you will see her Memorial Day weekend taking part in "Operation Celebration" events.

In the meantime, we certainly have a need for members of the younger generation to continue to be active participants and volunteers for community activities. Please continue to help us make Peabody a community its citizens appreciate! Call Main Street interim director Shane Marler, at 620-381-3499, or contact him by e-mail, at to let him know you.