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Keeping the Ball Rolling

By Lori Thielen

At 80 years old, Kay Thull is one example of the volunteer spirit that drives a town forward.

"Cawker City should be named Volunteer City because it takes many volunteers to keep a community of this size going," Thull, Cawker City resident, says. "Our older population spends many hours volunteering and now we hope to be able to pass that on to the younger generation."

Kay Thull and Marge Briney Schultz
Kay Thull and Marge Briney Schultz discuss upcoming events at the Cawker City Senior Center.

Thull’s list of activities could make anyone tired. She is a Cawker City Museum Board Member, serves on the school scholarship committee, volunteers at the senior center, and helps monitor the community Twine-A-Thon e-mail service.

She, however, is quick to pass the compliments onto the community.

"We are lucky to have a place like this. I’m grateful God has given me the time to do all that I have," Thull says. "I’m appreciative of the opportunity to be involved and I think that is good thing about a small town."

Marge Briney Schultz, site director at the Cawker City Senior Center since 1988, says it takes many volunteers to keep the center going, and thats just one such resource in the community. More than 20 residents volunteer each month to do bookkeeping, mowing or working in the kitchen at the Senior Center.

"To be able to offer lunch, coffee and bingo as well as taking meals to the homebound, takes many volunteers to make it work," Schultz says.

It starts with people.

Edgar and Joan Wagner both were born and raised in Mitchell County and have lived in Cawker City since 1961. Edgar is active in the Legion and Joan has been deeply involved in the Cawker City Community Club. Both serve on the Cawker City Museum Board and are active in their church.

"The fact that people care for each other is one of the biggest things that sets a small community apart," Joan Wagner says. "People ask for help and you don’t mind doing it because you know someday it will be returned when you need help."

Howie Fitzpatrick moved to Cawker City in 1998 after living in Salina and St. Louis, Missouri. He has spent many hours volunteering in his church, the Legion, and as chairman of the library board.

"When I moved here, I found the people acted like I’d lived here all my life and I never really felt like an outsider," Fitzpatrick says.

Frank and Carol Porter moved to Cawker City in the summer of 2003. Frank is originally from neighboring Glen Elder, but spent most of his adult life in other states. Carol serves on Cawker City Council.

"It’s amazing how quickly you get to know people here," Carol says.

"A community is sometimes a state of mind," Thull said. "I’m not saying this is the only place where people can be happy, but I certainly am happy here."

 

 

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Last Updated July 17, 2006
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