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August 29, 2016 - Tiffany Larson
There are many ways to show pride in a community. I am sure that there are even experts that have written remarkable papers on the topic. For me, I get the pleasure of witnessing pride every day in the place that I am proud to call home.

1. Rally Time — Our community takes pride in rallying together in times of need! Whether the loss of a loved one, someone battling an illness, or sharing support for those going through hard times. I find it truly amazing that in one evening Webster City and surrounding communities joined forces to raise over $40,000 in funds to help a fellow teacher and coach. The legacy of a young man continues on thanks to individuals and organizations riding their motorcycles and youth organizing a dodgeball tourney for his memorial scholarship. Memorial ribbons continue to circulate in memory of those that were taken too soon. Our community takes pride in planning, donating, or even just sharing kind words and prayers those in need.

2. Building Our Webster City Area — Our community rallied to restore the local Webster Theater. The next phase of upgrading the seats is currently underway. The HERO Board takes pride in making movie offerings a comfortable and affordable experience for patrons in the heart of rural Iowa. The community events sponsored by the Webster City Area Chamber, area businesses, and community clubs and organizations all deserve a round of applause. First American Bank allowing the use of their gorgeous plaza has been the icing on the cake! Music in the Park, Summer Nights, and the RVTV Cy-Hawk Classic hat-trick wouldn't have been successful if it weren't for our downtown businesses and community members taking pride in their hometown!

3. Random Acts of Kindness — Individuals in our community care for their own, and those abroad. They volunteer, mentor, encourage, and support others. They look for ways to give back to youth. The backpack program, summer lunch program, food pantry drives, the Tanzania Water Project, painting houses for neighbors, river cleanup, and many other inspiring projects not mentioned. Did you know State Farm and Jerry Goebel even have a Kindness Revolution going on right here in Webster City? People can nominate individuals for doing random acts of kindness. There are so many people, young and old showing pride in their community and helping others. What a wonderful way to be recognized for such selfless acts of character.

4. Team Spirit — There are many words to describe Homecoming. Pride seemed to be the overwhelming popular response through my informal polls conducted via social media and in-person conversations. Whether football, volleyball, cross country, wrestling, or other sport or club, lynx pride runs deep. Plastered throughout the schools, businesses, and community are paw prints and lynx spirit. I find it fitting that this blog is making it's debut just in time for the big Homecoming celebration, which kicks off on September 12. I encourage all of you to carry on in Lynx Country tradition by cheering on the Lynx teams, attending the home games/meets, participating in the parade (whether collecting candy or entering a float), and most importantly being proud to dress in your purple and gold!

Through my writing I have pondered, what exactly does Pride mean? I found various definitions. Two that caught my eye were listed in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (accessed online on 8-11-16); a) a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people and b)the quality or state of being proud. Pride in a community is an important part of citizenship. This is one of the pillars of character instilled in our youth attending school. It should not stop there. Let us continue to apply these pillars of character in our community today and everyday. For me personally, citizenship is something I try to apply in my life daily, both in my personal and professional life. My passion and pride for my hometown and community have landed me this opportunity to share tidbits with readers on various topics. For those of you looking for ideas on how to show PRIDE in YOUR community during Homecoming and the rest of the year, I encourage you to:

1. get involved by attending school activities, volunteering, and participating in community events

2. share your ideas to make POSITIVE improvements

3. reach out to youth and become an approachable adult in their lives

4. help to continue building OUR Webster City area so that it can thrive.

I share these tidbits with you, so that one day those future mentors and leaders that we have currently attending our local school district are proud to one day return to where it all began for them, and call Webster City home! Once a Lynx, always a Lynx!


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