Archive for Thursday, February 14, 2008

PRIDE in Lansing

February 14, 2008

When driving into Lansing from the south, you can't miss the beautiful Welcome to Lansing sign. One of the 11 logos on that sign has a big K with the words Kansas Pride. Now I am wondering just how many of you actually know what that means?

The Kansas PRIDE program is a citizen-based approach to improve the quality of life in Kansas communities. Founded on the belief that the best solutions for community improvement must come from the community itself, Kansas PRIDE encourages citizens to work together to identify community improvement projects. The PRIDE program offers a network of ideas along with the tools and resources needed to assist a community in developing plans and achieving its goals. Kansas PRIDE also recognizes successful community improvement with statewide publicity and celebration events.

The program is co-administered through the Kansas Department of Commerce and K-State Research and Extension. Kansas PRIDE Inc., a nonprofit organization, is the third collaborative partner in the state program. Kansas PRIDE Inc., engages private-sector companies and sponsors, such as Casey's General Store, Kansas Gas Service Co., Kansas Medical Society, Westar Energy, Kansas Bankers Association and many others that provide financial support for the community evaluation and recognition.

Lansing has been a member of PRIDE for more than 20 years. A small group of Lansing citizens has had monthly meetings and attended state meetings and workshops all these years. At these meetings we have found what other small communities have done, and it has been amazing. There are 61 cities in Kansas that are members of this organization, and at this time, Lansing has the largest population. We now meet quarterly, and you can call John Bennett or me for information.

If you are wondering what PRIDE in Lansing has done over the years, just start by looking at our Welcome to Lansing Sign. Our PRIDE members got that started. We were also instrumental in getting recognition for local students and volunteers along with the changeable copy sign on the corner of Kansas Avenue and Main Street. Many years ago the Historical Society branched off from the PRIDE committee, and the yard award program is conducted by the PRIDE committee. The Mayor's Christmas Tree also is a PRIDE function.

If you have ideas of community improvements and have the time, bring your ideas and energy to our next PRIDE meeting, 6:30 p.m. March 26 at La Mesa restaurant. Everyone in our city is automatically a member of PRIDE.

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