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Like many a small town under an unpredictable summer sky, my new community of Hosmer, South Dakota, celebrates a major milestone—its 125thanniversary—with an action-packed weekend of events this weekend (June 29-July 1) called the “Hosmer Quasi."
While its official 2010 population is 208, the size of the town will balloon in the coming days as people from all over drive in to partake in the town’s festivities, many of which are free to the public, thanks to generous donations from local and area business and individuals.
I arrived here a month ago, and consider myself Hosmer’s newest resident. Because this is the community where my husband grew up, I’ve had the chance to visit many times in the past 12 years. Though I admit I’ve been preoccupied with the never-ending task of unpacking, I can’t help but notice the incredible uptick in activity in this little town as the town prepares to celebrate. The work of the last few years to spruce up old buildings and remove others, paint houses and businesses, and remove clutter is evident as you drive through today. I sense there’s even a bit of friendly competition around town getting some of this work done. The work of this community to prepare for its big celebration is evident everywhere—there’s even freshly painted road striping as you drive into town.
None of this preparation happened by accident. It took the work of several committees, community fundraisers, commitment from the City and the County, sponsorships from local businesses and a whole lot of caring individuals to pull off what will no doubt be a tremendous celebration for this small community nine miles north of Highway 12 in north central South Dakota. Though I wasn’t here when the planning started several years ago, I doubt everyone waited around for someone to lead the effort; folks knew what they had to get done and knew what skills they brought to the table. And I bet there’s been some learning along the way.
That’s what leadership is, isn’t it? You might not feel it, but stepping up to get the work done well and offering your expertise is courageous…and critical. And because those people have stepped up, a community gathers to celebrate another milestone. Hosmer has a smaller population today than it did 10 years ago, but the people who live here work to get the same, if not more, done with fewer resources.
Read more about the Hosmer celebration in an article in the Aberdeen American News.
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