Page 1

Yoder Hardware and Lumber: tool of the trade

Host the ultimate winter birthday

Winter 10/11

Fighting fires with passion in Hutchinson

Winter 10/11


Anchor Inn shares its delicious tradition

Hutchinson Volume 03 / Issue 03


dear readers, Ah, the holidays! Fast, furious, frenetic, filling and … totally worthwhile. Amid the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget the fact that we have the opportunity to gather and share with family. Together we break bread, share traditions and remember those who are no longer with us. It’s the one time to truly take comfort in the joy of family. This season, we found it fitting to celebrate the family … business. Their humbling and fortunate experiences in running the show as one make for wonderful stories this winter. We can only imagine what their holiday dinners are like! One of the most notable family businesses in Hutchinson is the Anchor Inn. The Flores family has managed the popular restaurant for generations and continues to deliver and impress its customers with every meal. Most of the family members play a part, from re-creating the matriarch’s recipe to being the adorable new great-grandbaby worth doting over. After being in business for more than three decades, they have the operation down to a system—especially when employing the teenagers. Another family business, Yoder Hardware and Lumber, sits just south of town. Rod and Peg Fry purchased the store in 1990 from Rod’s father, Alvin. Of course Rod’s mother, Adelaide, still makes frequent visits to, you know, check on things. And their son Brad also works at the store. Yoder Hardware and Lumber has become the place to find just what you need or want, including the classic Radio Flyer wagon—a Christmastime staple. Northwest of town in Buhler is Adrians, the popular, unique boutique. Vicki Adrian’s 20-plus-year investment in the business is evident. After working at the store, which her mother-in-law, Lovella Adrian, owned, Vicki eventually took over and continues to reinvent its persona and inventory. From personal notes to in-store tastings, Adrians has it all. The Trowbridge family is an artistic example of how creativity can flow through a business. Doug, Margie and Matt work together in producing unique pieces for their online showroom, Trowbridge Galleries. Like father, like son, Doug and Matt work on various styles of paintings while Margie fashions unique jewelry and accessories. Collectively, they share a passion for art and have the good fortune to practice it. Whether you work, live or put up with your family this holiday season, find time to visit these storefronts with their unique behind-the-familyscenes story. Katy Ibsen, Editor

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Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

The Hutchinson News Circulation Department Elizabeth Garwood 300 W. Second | Hutchinson KS 67501 (620) 694-5700 ext. 115 | (800) 766-5730 ext. 115



Winter 10/11


hutchinson living

6 Making it their own

With renovations and dashes of color, a young couple breathe new life into this century-old home



10 The comforts of

home An eclectic art collection and spacious rooms make this couple’s house ideal for entertaining—or relaxing

hutchinson businesses 20 Building a lasting

business Yoder Hardware and Lumber stands the test of time as a go-to source

24 Everything from A to Z Adrians in Buhler

offers fun fashions and gourmet goodies with plenty of in-store spirit

14 An appetite

for Anchor Inn

local profiles

28 In the line of fire

Hutchinson firefighters share why they love their challenging profession

It’s family tradition to serve a Mexican feast at this long-standing restaurant

32 Sunflower


showdown Reno County boasts strong university alumni groups

36 A treasured


The Wild Horse and Burro Program at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility offers life-changing lessons in responsibility and patience

58 The cool party animals Kiddos come out of hibernation for extraordinary winter birthday celebrations

34 A family galleria Art becomes a shared passion and a virtual business opportunity

health & fitness

42 Health Nut:

opal wilson The nourishing life of a volunteer

44 Honing character

Students gain confidence through American Karate & Martial Science

travel ideas

48 Ocean swells

Bright lights, big city? Not a chance. Cape Cod beckons with simple pleasures

In Every Issue On the Cover

Troy Mueller, Hutchinson Firefighter. (Photography by Deborah Walker)


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

2 dear Readers 46 Q&A 64 best Bets


54 The perfect fit

Buhler students are getting

active with a grant-funded P.E. program


Making it their own With renovations and dashes of color, a young couple breathe new life into this century-old home Story by Amy Con kli ng Photography by De bor ah Walke r


any young couples prefer trendy, modern styles when searching for their dream homes. Not Dustin and Lindsay Hildebrand. The couple purchased and moved into their historic home less than a year ago and have been making renovations and putting their own touches on it ever since. “I grew up in an old home, and Dustin’s grandparents owned a historic home,” Lindsay says. “I’ve always wanted to own an older, larger home.” Older and larger is exactly what they found. The 1913 three-story home features 3,000 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sunroom, a basement and an attic— and plenty of living space in between. Located near the Houston Whiteside Historic District, the house has plenty of charm.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Dustin and Lindsay Hildebrand enjoy the grand front porch of their new home and renovation project.

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


hutchinsonliving 1.

Falling in love The house was the first the couple looked at while home-shopping. But they knew from the minute they walked through the doors that they were stepping foot into their future home. They had to use a bit of creativity, though, to get past the obscure wall paint and carpet colors as well as the dated fixtures throughout the house. Gold carpet covered the beautiful hardwood floors now found in the lower level, black walls made for a gloomy dining room and bright green shag carpet dated one of the upstairs bedrooms. “We went to Home Depot and picked out paint colors before we even had keys to the house,” Lindsay says with a laugh. They’ve worked nonstop on renovations since taking possession. Dustin, 30, a high school math teacher who paints homes and businesses during the summer, used his talents to transform every wall in the house. Lindsay, 29, who works as an Early Head Start home visitor, mixed and matched patterns, colors and fixtures to complement the home’s hues. Other family members helped strip carpet, sand and finish wood floors, and assist with decorative items such as sewing curtains. “We definitely plan on staying here for a while,” Lindsay says. A large, wraparound porch complete with seasonal décor and a table with chairs greet visitors before they even step into the Hildebrands’ white house that contrasts nicely with its ebonycolored shutters. Lindsay pictured family dinners and nice evenings spent on that porch—and that’s exactly what she and Dustin enjoy on a frequent basis. It’s just one of the many features the Hildebrands love about their new old home.


Characteristics Once inside, visitors find Lindsay’s first love of the house: the wide wooden staircase that flows into the entryway and living room. Warm cranberry, gold and beige tones create a calm and inviting presence, peppered with the decorative touches of flowers, picture frames and lamps. Each room is complete with the original tall radiators that age the home. To the left of the entryway and living area, bold black and gold colors create a sophisticated feel in the dining room matched with a set of beautiful French doors that open to the kitchen. “We may have changed the wall colors, taken out the carpet and took out all of the sconces, but we did manage to keep the wood molding in its original state,” says Lindsay. “I even kept the original chandelier in the kitchen and have plans of using it somehow.” 5.






By the sea



Jack keeps things under control

The painted nails of the claw-foot tub

A street sign welcomes friends to the attic

A lamp with seashells adds ambiance in a bedroom

Pictures of family pets

A personalized birdhouse welcomes guests

Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

hutchinsonliving CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT (1) Family momentos fill the cozy living room. (2) The couple share a seat on the salvaged auditorium chairs from Bethany College where they met. (3) The attic has become a bit of a “man cave” for Dustin. (4) Natural light from large windows brightens the bedrooms. (5) The prominent staircase was a huge selling point for Lindsay. (6) The bathrooms still illustrate much of the home’s original character.


Upstairs, each bathroom features its original cast iron tub, which the couple have updated by adding a shower. The bedrooms are done in neutral, beige tones balanced by turquoise, teal and brown shades woven in through bedding and other décor. The second level’s main draw, however, is the corner sunroom that draws bright beams of sunshine through the wraparound windows. Lindsay now uses it as her craft and scrapbooking room. “It’s much better than the garage, which is where I had to store this in our old house,” she says with a smile. Dustin has his own room, too—the attic. The space is complete with sports memorabilia, a ping-pong table, couches, a television and original auditorium seats from Bethany College, where the couple met. “We’ve been told the attic was called the ballroom back in the day,” says Dustin. The perils With a home almost 100 years old, the Hildebrands have their fair share of fun tales to tell from the renovations. Dustin recalls running into some old newspapers from the 1930s while working under the house’s crawl space. “There were some copies of the Kansas City Star and Hutchinson News,” he says. “The termite guys had to dump loads and loads of them since it was attracting termites.”

“I grew up in an old home, and Dustin’s grandparents owned a historic home. I’ve always wanted to own an older, larger home.” – Lindsay Hildebrand




Dustin also spent plenty of hours, and lots of frustration, dealing with tree roots. “When you get the water hooked up with old pipes, you end up dealing with roots in the pipes,” he says. “We started running our brand-new washing machine after we hooked up the water, and our basement started flooding because it was backed up with the roots.” They made a call to the professionals, but Dustin says, “Even they couldn’t get it unclogged the first day. It was that clogged.” Their parents were supportive of the couple’s big purchase when they heard the news. “My dad loves projects, so he was looking forward to helping us with it,” Lindsay says. Dustin’s parents, meanwhile, had flashbacks to time spent at his grandparents’ home. Their list of projects remains long. The kitchen is next on the to-do list, along with finishing touches on various rooms. Growing in But Lindsay and Dustin’s main vision is to someday expand their family with little ones to fill the bedrooms, run up and down the wooden staircase, and gather for dinner on the porch. For now, however, they look forward to meeting their neighbors through various functions and making their mark as a young couple revitalizing this century-old home. “We have lots of neighbors who like having a young couple on the block,” Lindsay says. “We’re definitely making the home better, which is encouraging for them to see.”

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine



The Comforts of Home

An eclectic art collection and spacious rooms make this couple’s house ideal for entertaining—or relaxing Story by Amy Bicke l


Photography by De bor ah Walke r

hen Ed and Carol Berger were searching for a home in the late ’90s, they had just a few exceptional requirements. They wanted a place with space large enough to welcome guests that also would provide a relaxing evening and weekend getaway from their hectic jobs. “With Ed’s job as president [of Hutchinson Community College], we needed a place to do some entertaining,” says Carol, who works at First National Bank. They stumbled upon a cottage and ranch-style home on Briarwood Lane, a quiet, tree-lined street, and couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect, she adds.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Ed and Carol Berger enjoy the serene landscape of their backyard.

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine



“Looking into the backyard and seeing the change in the seasons is always exciting.” – Ed Berger

The Bergers initially fell in love with the large porch that they have since transformed into a family room. Other selling points included the south wall covered with windows and a door that opens to a large well-manicured backyard, big enough to entertain a group or just two. Moreover, Carol says, they appreciated that the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home built in the late ’70s needed only a few minor changes. This included ripping turquoise carpet out of the large porch room. “What really sold us is when we went out into the porch room and saw the trees that were out behind our house,” Carol says. “It reminded me of growing up in Michigan and the long hikes my grandmother took us on in search of perfect places for berry picking.” Comfy for company A sunken living room meets guests after they cross the threshold of the Bergers’ front door. A dark Arkansas moss stone fireplace—common in the area’s older homes as well as the fence posts marking the street—gives an inviting greeting. Oversize couches rest on the rust-stained concrete floor, providing a cozy and warming feel. Behind the fireplace is Ed’s favorite spot: the porch-turnedfamily room. “It is comfortable whether you are involved in quiet reading, conversation or board games,” Ed says. He saw the potential for the large and open space early. After pulling up the outdated carpet, the Bergers painted the concrete floor a rustic brown, accenting the space with plenty of seating and a wood-burning stove. They added built-in bookcases on the east wall to hold their extensive book collection and updated the lighting. Ed especially enjoys the large windows, which allow him to peer out into the landscaped backyard—an escape where the couple spend most of their evenings when the weather is warm. “We eat out here almost every night,” Carol says. “In the summer, we have a beautiful view of all the neighborhood’s trees.” They added a space for entertaining on the home’s southwest corner. Accented by flowers and shrubs, a walkway leads to a soft gray gazebo. “Working out in the yard is great therapy and a new hobby,” Carol says. “The backyard has evolved over the years. It has been interesting and challenging to learn about sunlight, soil and which plants will flourish in the shade.” The gathering place When the weather turns too cool for outdoor dining, the Bergers sit in the kitchen nook at a small table near the stove where they eat dinner or play Scrabble. “He always beats me,” Carol says with a smile.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11



5. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT (1) The Bergers’ ranch-style home has become a venue for entertaining. (2) The updated kitchen is a popular place for guests and family to gather. (3) Unique details, like this candelabra, pepper the home. (4) The warm living room is an inviting space. (5) The Bergers fell in love with the back porch, which they transformed into a family room. (6) Carol enjoys working in the yard’s bountiful garden.





A unique figure of Mary is elegantly displayed.

The wrought-iron patio set is a perfect spot for resting.

Oil painting by Martha Hamilton.




Carol’s favorite spot after a long day at work, however, is the kitchen. Updates here included painting the old 1970s dark-stained cabinets a French country white and adding three hanging lights over the bar, which was widened. They installed a few extra kitchen cabinets, including a place for recipe books and a spice rack. An old china hutch from the Halstead farm where Ed grew up rests against one wall. An expanded oak table, large enough for small dinner parties or family dinners when their sons Joseph and John visit, dominates the nearby dining room. “I like to try new recipes,” Carol says. “I like entertaining, and a lot of people end up in the kitchen.”





The Bergers pull out all the stops when entertaining.

A colorful holiday gumdrop tree.

The perfect chest for the perfect holiday décor.

Personality Carol recalls a comment from a woman who hung new blinds in her home last fall. The woman called the residence eclectic, and Carol agreed. It’s a result of the artwork—paintings by local artists and students—that graces nearly every room. A carving resembling Mary, mother of Jesus, rests in a nook above the entry’s fireplace. On the small table in the porch room is a stone pottery work that resembles a face. “It’s called Life is Beautiful,” Carol says. “It’s one of my favorite pieces.” Other works depict flowers, nature, landscapes and country scenes. A painting by former Hutchinson artist Marvel Senti shows circus elephants and their trainer. Roy Swanson, an HCC art instructor, painted some of the other artwork hanging in the home. Carol and Ed admit they don’t have the artistic touch, but they appreciate the arts and enjoy finding paintings at art shows in Hutchinson. It puts their personal imprint on the home they love. “It’s a very comfortable home,” says Ed, who appreciates coming home after a long day at the office to relax in front of the fire and watch television or read the newspaper. “Looking into the backyard and seeing the change in the seasons is always exciting,” he says. “Whether winter snow, summer flowers or fall leaves, the yard comes into the room.”

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


Greg Flores, son of patriarch Tony Flores, manages the front of the house at Anchor Inn.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Story by Pat sy Terrell

Photogr aphy by Debor ah Wal k er

It’s family tradition to serve a Mexican feast at this long-standing restaurant

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


“The future for the Anchor is pretty bright. We hope to continue for another generation. Lord willing, we will.” –greg Flores


or more than 40 years, the Flores family has made an art out of providing Mexican food and genuine service at Anchor Inn. Owned by Tony and Rachel Flores, the restaurant is the quintessential family business.

All six of Tony and Rachel’s children have worked at the restaurant; Tony’s sister, Cruz, has been cooking there for 35 years, and his other siblings have all worked there at one time or another. And with these strong genes, Tony and Rachel’s 20 grandchildren begin working at the restaurant when they turn 16. “All the kids grew up here. It’s the grandkids now,” says Rachel. When asked if she expects to see the great-grandkids working at Anchor Inn one day, she smiles and says, “If we’re here long enough. They’re still babies.”  In the 1940s Rachel’s family ran a pool hall, named R&R, in what is now the bar at the center of the three buildings that make up the Anchor Inn complex. The name, Anchor Inn, pays homage to the World War II Naval air station outside Hutchinson that eventually closed in the 1960s. Tony learned the business from his father, Antonio Flores Sr. When the restaurant really took off, Rachel left her retail job to work there too. Now their son, Greg, runs the front of the restaurant while Tony and Rachel oversee operations. “You can get advice, but you have to do it on your own and learn by your mistakes,” says Tony. “Greg grew up in the business. He has a great advantage over Rachel and I.”  The grandchildren get their starts as cashiers or by busing tables. Greg says those first jobs are more appealing now than they used to be. “A couple of generations of us grew up washing dishes,” he says. “Only the advent of the automatic dishwasher allowed us to get out of the kitchen.” With years of experience, they know working with family does present some difficulties. “You can’t fire a family member. They won’t stay fired,” Tony says.  “The challenge is mostly trying to cohabitate daily in the same space. There is no hierarchy,” Greg says, until, he jokes, something happens. But he says the whole family still waits for Tony’s opinion. “Everyone looks to him,” Greg says. “He’s the reluctant king.”  “I make the tough decisions,” says Tony. Sometimes that includes taking people off the payroll, even if they are family. “If they’re scheduled to work, they have to show up. They can’t put us in a bind. We have to get our food out in a timely manner,” he says. That’s part of what Tony considers the three basics of the restaurant business. “You have to have a good product. That’s the most important

Cruz Marquez, Tony’s sister, still works behind the scenes at Anchor Inn. opposite BOTTOM LEFT Jim and Carolyn Schinstock often enjoy a good meal at Anchor Inn. opposite TOP LEFT

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


Anchor Inn By the Numbers



full-size chocolate sheet cakes are served weekly


100 14 15 25 10 2,000 1 10 15 60 20 18

pounds of pork shoulder are used each day Flores grandchildren

Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

1,984 4 1

people can be seated at once


gallons per day on Friday and Saturday

margaritas are served in the average weekend


gallons of hot sauce are used every weekday pounds of ground beef are used each day


pounds of cheese are grated onsite each week


case of avocados is used each week to make fresh guacamole

employees work each shift

pounds of flour are used weekly to make tortillas and chips climbing to

plus items on the buffet

ounces of draft beer are served daily—a good percentage in the form of red beer

Flores great-grandchildren

rumor of another greatgrandchild on the way

Siblings, Greg, left, Angie Roya and Helen Flores take great pride in the family’s legacy and continue to share it with their children.

thing. Second is good service. Prices are third,” he says. In addition to a full menu, Anchor Inn offers a buffet, which Greg keeps an eye on. Despite the challenges of a family business, the Floreses say things are working well. As Greg says, it takes an army to run the place. The family also owns another restaurant a few blocks down the street aptly named Anchor Away, which caters to the takeout business. “We took our opportunities and made the most of them,” Greg says. They’ve learned the business one step at a time, even down to the secret recipes. “My grandma used to make tacos. And however many tacos she could make, that’s how many we’d sell. At some point we thought, ‘Hey, if we put two people making tacos, we’ll have more to sell,’” says Greg. And while they’re no longer grandma-made tacos, he says, “she passed the magic on. It’s like pixie dust. We spread it around.”

“All the kids grew up here. It’s the grandkids now.”

–Rachel Flores

It’s apparent that Anchor Inn is more than the family business—it’s a second home. “Every Sunday we’re together, after being together all week long,” says Greg. On these days, Tony and Rachel catch up on paperwork and everyone enjoys dinner together. Greg says it’s common to have 25-30 people there. “It’s a place we can gather,” he says, pointing out that his kids have never known anything different. “We need it.”   Greg says running Anchor Inn is special. “You get to be part of something that’s a tradition not only for you and your family, but for others. We have generations of customers.” Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine



nuts & bolts

Building a lasting business Yoder Hardware and Lumber stands the test of time as a go-to source

Story by R ichar d Shan k Photography by Ethan Kapl an


Brad and Rod Fry, the father-son duo, are part of the driving force behind Yoder Hardware and Lumber.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

ff Kansas Highway 96, along the access road, a sign promotes “Historic Downtown Yoder” with plenty to see and do. Visitors will find both— and get a taste of local history—at Yoder Hardware and Lumber. Owner Rod Fry literally grew up in the business after his father, Alvin Fry, purchased the store 47 years ago. Following his graduation from Hutchinson Community College and his marriage to Peg Rue, Rod found himself behind the counter working next to his father at the prospering store. In 1990, upon Alvin’s retirement, Rod and Peg purchased the store. Although Alvin died in 2000, Rod’s 90-year-old mother, Adelaide, remains a frequent store visitor and enjoys talking with customers. In 2005 the lineage extended once more when Rod and Peg’s son, Brad, joined the business. Soon after marrying Rod, Peg became the store’s bookkeeper, a responsibility she has retained to this day. “It has been a wonderful and special experience,” says Peg. “At times it has seemed like we were treading water and were there to hold each other up, as this is what could be called a mom-and-pop store.” Brad also feels at home in the store. “I especially enjoy working with the customers and have an opportunity to become acquainted with their families,” he says. The store’s history stretches back to 1898, and the business moved to its current building in 1926. For the past 84 years, shoppers have ordered and paid for their purchases at the counter built by Rod’s great-grandfather.


“This is what could be called a mom-and-pop store.” – Peg Fry

The right community

right An old apron serves as a reminder of its beginning when Rod’s father, Alvin, purchased the business. BELOW Items for sale include a few classics, such as a vintage Western Clipper sled.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Yoder, a small, unincorporated farming area about 10 miles south of Hutchinson, has fewer than 100 residents and is home to one of the state’s largest Amish settlements. The horse and buggy remain a common source of transportation for many locals. Their farm and home conveniences often operate with the help of motors and engines, so Yoder Hardware is a good place to find to belts and other replacement parts. Other typical purchases include coal oil lamps and horseshoes. The 11,000-square-foot business includes a full line of lumber and other building materials. Those restoring old homes and outbuildings can purchase tongue and groove lumber, a product no longer offered at many other stores, and cedar lap siding. “We serve a niche market for things not available in other hardware stores,” Rod says of the unique items. “For example, we sell coal buckets that never see a piece of coal.” Those wanting to take a trip down memory lane can peruse the diverse inventory: meat grinders, sausage stuffers, butter churns, cream cans and copper boilers. For customers seeking entertainment, there are Tinkertoys and a set of jacks with balls. The baby boomers will be happy to learn Radio Flyer wagons are also available here in eight sizes. Shoppers in national chain stores must purchase items such as bolts, screws and


nails by the package, but that is never the case in Yoder. “We sell these items by the pound instead of the package,” Rod says. Each purchase is accurately weighed on antique scales. Whenever possible, Rod prefers to sell items made in America. During a tour of the store, he is quick to point out that the White Mountain ice cream freezers were made in Massachusetts and the cast iron cookware was made in Tennessee. Today’s shopper

The advent of credit cards put an end to retail charge accounts at most stores, but at Yoder Hardware customers can use either or both. “Also, we are happy to take personal checks from our customers, and seldom do we receive a bad one,” Rod says. Hits to the store’s website have come from as far away as California, where a customer inquired about parts for an Aladdin mantel lamp. Thanks in part to the internet, it was no surprise when a shopper from Denmark and a German foreign exchange student visited the store. Rod, now 56, seems to thrive on 70-hour workweeks and the daily contact with his customers. “I love this place, love people and want to perform a service for the community,” Rod says. And his long list of customers throughout the world are pulling for Rod and his family to continue the tradition. Rod admits, “I hope to work here into old age.”

top Located in Yoder, the store is a staple for local patrons and out-ofstate visitors. CENTER Filled to the brim, the hardware store has just about everything. LEFT Customer service is still at the forefront of the operation.

MORE INFO Yoder Hardware & Lumber 9816 S. Main St. (620) 465-2277 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine




Everything from A to Z Adrians in Buhler offers fun fashions and gourmet goodies with plenty of in-store spirit

Story by J ean ette Ste i n e rt Photography by Ethan Kapl an


Vicki Adrian’s passion for Adrians in Buhler, keeps the store unique and friendly.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

hen Vicki Adrian talks about her store, Adrians — A Unique Boutique, she is enthusiastic. But when she talks about connecting with customers, her face lights up, her blue eyes sparkle and the words gush out in a torrent. Vicki’s true joy is working with people, and it shows in every aspect of her trendy Buhler business. “I love, love, love people—not just to see their faces, but to get to know who they are. Just talk to anyone for a minute and you can find something you have in common with them,” she says. Vicki has known many of her customers for more than 20 years, growing familiar with their families, their tastes, sometimes even their joys and sorrows. People come to Adrians for conversation or get-away time, as well as the special gifts, gourmet items and trendy fashions—or just to have fun. “We are not just a store. We are building relationships,” says Vicki, who each day tries to e-mail a friendly note to several people on her mailing list. She also keeps her camera handy to take snapshots of customers for a fun memento. Vicki has been involved with the store for 26 of its 27 years in business and has owned it for 20 years. Adrians was started by her mother-in-law, Lovella Adrian, in 1983 as a country crafts and consignment shop. Vicki, who had a toddler at the time, made some of the crafts and soon realized she liked being in the store more than making things.

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine



“I found I just loved the business, loved the people and loved the marketing— one of my favorite things.” – Vicki Adrian

MORE INFO Adrians — A Unique Boutique 118 N. Main St., Buhler (620) 543-6488 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Even after all these years, Vicki loves coming to work and genuinely enjoys the 12- to 14-hour workdays. Vicki’s daughter Jenny, 21, and son Josh, 28, and his wife, Cassie, lend a hand when they are in town. And Vicki’s husband, Jack, has been a great support all these years but prefers to stay in the background. “I found I just loved the business, loved the people and loved the marketing—one of my favorite things,” she says. Business might be in Vicki’s genes, as her parents operated a dairy farm and a feed and farm supply store in Nebraska, where she was born. For her, hosting events is not working— it’s entertaining. The July Celebrate Sisters weekend, one of Vicki’s favorite events, is now in its fifth year. Vicki, who is the oldest of five sisters in her family, adapted the girls’ day out idea from a similar event in Sisters, Oregon. “When was the last time you intentionally made plans to spend a day together with your sister? I wanted to promote calling a sister or a friend. This gives women a reason [to get together],” she says. November’s Holiday Open House is another favorite event. The store’s five-day open house is usually packed. Long lines queue to the back of the store, so there’s an employee charged solely with keeping the customers happy. That means serving treats like chocolate or last year’s snack bar with mashed potatoes in a margarita glass with all kinds of toppings. “We try really hard to make it a unique shopping experience,” says Vicki. Snacks and samples are an everyday occurrence. On this day fresh-baked brown sugar cookies, raspberry lemonade, hot and sweet pepper relish, corn salsa and a couple of dips, chips and crackers tempt the palate. With its unique clothing and gift items, the store is an explosion of color, texture and atmosphere. “The thing about Vicki is that she keeps very current and is willing to go way out of


what is usually thought about a gift store,” says Sarah Regier, who has worked at Adrians for 13 years. “There’s always something new I’m working with and learning about.” Vicki strives to stay current with clothing offerings. “Our customers want to look like 2010, not 10 years ago, while being comfortable and fashionable,” she says, adding that she and Sarah do most of the buying. Vicki believes buying is something you either have an eye for or you don’t because it can be difficult to buy outside of one’s own taste or style. Customer input is solicited and taken seriously, helping assure that what the store offers reflects the customers’ wishes. “We try to not get more than four to six of anything. We’re not a ‘stack ’em high, watch ’em fly’ type of store, especially on the fashion end. We don’t want someone showing up with the same outfit as their neighbor,” says Vicki. To keep the store truly eclectic, the pair travel all over the country to big and little businesses, looking for unique items. Merchandise falls into five categories: clothing, jewelry, gifts, gourmet and holiday items. Andrea Fisher of Buhler has been an Adrians customer for years, and the rest of her family shops there too. “It’s a favorite shop for my sister Jane, who lives in Kansas City. Every time she comes down, she looks for a new [piece of jewelry] to wear. When she goes back to work, people will say, ‘So, you’ve been to Adrians in Buhler again,’” she says.

LEFT Adrian began working in the store more than 25 years ago and continues to celebrate her loyal customers.

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In the Line of Fire Hutchinson firefighters share why they love their challenging profession story by Amy Bicke l Photography by De bor ah Walke r


hey put their lives on the line to save and protect. They are heroic and brave. They are Hutchinson’s firefighters. “The old saying is, ‘Firefighters are running into a building that everybody else is running out of,’” says Shawn Kelley, training captain for the Hutchinson Fire Department. Their work is, of course, nothing like the blazing drama portrayed in movies and TV shows. Sometimes there is a bright glow from a flame, but firefighters say they typically work in darkness from the thick blanket of smoke that engulfs a burning structure. It’s also hot. So hot the heat can force them to the floor. So hot that temperatures sometimes sear above 1,000 degrees. So hot their bodies must be protected by gear that weighs 50 to 80 pounds. “It’s not as easy as TV,” says Captain Jeremy Unruh of Fire Station 4. “Sometimes it’s windy; sometimes the conditions are bad. It gets pitch black where you can’t hardly see.” However, battling blazes in this magnitude of heat and belly crawling across a smoked-filled room are just parts of the job. The five-man crew at Hutchinson Fire Station 4 answers calls when the horn sounds in the middle of the night, slicing through sleep, or during a routine day at the station. “[The horn] goes off at least once a night, sometimes more,” says Captain Wes Stewart of Station 4. “We’re used to it now.” Stewart says being able to wake out of a deep sleep and head to the fire truck in a matter of seconds is a learned skill. New firefighters will often lie awake and wait for the horn to sound on their first few days on the job. More than a firefighter

Chris Ledbetter has been a Hutchinson firefighter for four years.


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Putting out a blazing building or grass fire is just part of duty of a local firefighter. They also rescue motorists from the crinkled heaps of metal after an intense crash and aid those who have difficulty breathing or are suffering from a fall. They are called to handle meth labs, perform building inspections and check fire hydrants. It’s a dangerous job, says Kelley. About 100 firefighters nationwide are killed in the line of duty each year. The Hutchinson department has lost one since its formation in the late 1800s. “Firefighters are faced with so many different situations that every time the alarm rings, their lives could be on the line,” he says. All firefighters are trained emergency medical technicians. Some exceed that training to become versed in hazardous materials or


serve on specific rescue teams such as Stewart’s crew, which specializes in climbing ropes. They do all this 24-hour-a-day shifts, 10 to 11 days per month. “These guys don’t sit around and play checkers,” Kelley says. “There has always been a need for the fire service. But today’s firefighter is so much more. “I have seen firefighters comfort the frailest little grandmother that needed help out of bed and into a chair. And 10 minutes later, (they are) kicking in a door to search a burning house for a mother and child.” Hutchinson has 90 personnel working for the department. Each of the seven stations has three crews, which rotate to serve 24-hour shifts, according to Kelley. Crews start their day at 7 a.m., donning their dark uniforms and bringing overnight bags and bedrolls. The day’s schedule includes an equipment check, physical fitness, classes, training exercises and meetings. Unless, that is, the horn sounds. A family

The members of Hutchinson’s Fire Department become their own family. Unruh says for his crew, it’s a comradeship that develops while experiencing life’s joys and sorrows together. Unruh, 31, is part of a five-member team that shares the station’s quarters during a shift. “I love the team aspect of firefighting,” Unruh says. “I consider the guys I work with to be family, my brothers.” He grew up hearing stories from his father, Richard, who was also a Hutchinson firefighter. It’s more than just following in his father’s footsteps, he adds. “I also like the excitement of the job,” Unruh says. “You never know what kind of call you are going on next. And a big one is that I love to help other people.”  Stewart, 42, has worked with the department 18 years. He quit his factory job to become a firefighter. “I wanted to do something that I could be proud of,” Stewart says. Danny Chambers, 37, has been with the Hutchinson Fire Department for five years. “This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid,” he says. Troy Mueller, 34, realized his calling when he helped the town of Halstead fight off a flood in the ’90s. He’s been a firefighter 13 years. Chris Ledbetter, 31, who has been with the department four years, wanted to be a firefighter since he started serving with the Buhler volunteer fire department. He says being a firefighter was also a childhood dream. “What little boy doesn’t want to grow up to be a firefighter?” he asks. Carolyn Herndon, with Station 6, is the only female firefighter in Hutchinson’s fire department. After seven years, though, she doesn’t view herself any differently. “I am expected to do the same job as everyone else in the department, and I do just that,” says Herndon, 32. Their firefighter bond includes a theme of supporting each other, even if it means stocking the kitchen together. Much of their activity is a result of the team mentality. They try to make their temporary living quarters as familiar as possible. Unruh displays pictures of his daughters, Kaylee, 6, and Addison, 4, in his locker. These mementos help firefighters from missing their family during a big event like a sports game or a school program, when night falls or even over the holidays. “It is tough being away from my wife and kids,” Unruh says. “I love being a dad, and I love to be home with my kids. I make sure that I call home every night and talk to them. I make sure I ask

TOP During a local event, firefighters let kids tour the fire engine. ABOVE Making up a crew in Fire Station 4 are, from left, Danny Chambers, Troy Mueller, Chris Ledbetter, Jeremy Unruh and Wes Steward.

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Ms. Firefighter carolyn herndon As the only female firefighter in the Hutchinson Fire Department, Carolyn Herndon shares a typical day in her life and why she joined the team. When did you discover you wanted to be a firefighter? LEFT Out at the training tower, firefighters work together to keep their experience up-to-date.

them what they did that day and if they had a good day. I always make sure they know that I love them and that I will be home to see them in the morning.” Other aspects of the job serve as a reminder of their sincere dedication. New dishes typically mean a member purchased a new set for his family and home. Bedtime means sleeping on bedrolls situated on twin-size beds set up on a sleeping porch. And fans blow at each area, mostly to help drown out snoring so they can get some sleep. Risking life

Some incidents are too close for comfort, and firefighters often try to laugh off close calls or put them in the back of their minds. “I remember being in a basement where the heat was so bad, it forced me to the cooler floor,” Chambers says. “When you are in a basement that is burning, it’s like walking in a chimney, with all the heat coming up.” It wasn’t a quick process, either. “It took a long time to find that “Firefighters are faced fire,” he says. with so many different While fires are what firefighters are known situations that every time for, about 80 percent the alarm rings, their of fire calls are medical emergencies—ranglives could be on the ing from a fatal crash to line.” – Shawn Kelley someone having heart problems. Often it’s a fire truck that arrives first on the scene, even before the ambulance. As a result their experiences can be both physical and mentally grueling. “We’re doing a job in a time of need,” says Mueller. “We see people at their lowest point.” At the end of the day, it’s the firefighters who band together for support and manage the experiences and tragedies they share. “In life or death situations, we depend on each other,” says Mueller.


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I was going to college in Hays, back in 1998, and I joined the volunteer department while going to school. That is when I decided this is what I want to do. I finished my degree in Hays and moved back to Cheney. I then enrolled in an EMT class at Wichita State University. I later applied for the City of Hutchinson and was hired March 31, 2003. What do you enjoy most about being a firefighter?

I enjoy going to work knowing every day will be different and I will face new challenges. There are never two calls that are the exact same. I also enjoy helping people when they are in need of help. What is your crew like?

Every crew is different. I really enjoy working with my current driver, who is Patrick O’Neal. There is never a dull moment working with this guy. When you enjoy the people you work with, it makes the job that much better than it already is. What’s the hardest part about being a firefighter?

The hardest part I would say is adjusting your personal life around your fire department schedule. … Sometimes you must schedule things such as Christmas or Thanksgiving with family on a day other than when it actually takes place. I have learned to adjust and make things work. What makes the job rewarding?

This job is rewarding by being that person called when someone is having a really bad day. And when you can change it for the better—that is what is rewarding.

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine



Sunflower Showdown Reno County boasts strong university alumni groups

story by Pam Lyle Photography by k ath le e n du ncu n

fo r th e h utc h i n so n n e ws


hether you’re anxiously waiting to exit onto Kansas Highway 177 toward Manhattan or winding through the streets and up to Mount Oread in Lawrence, the feelings are mutual. Pulse rates rise, adrenaline flows, emotions run high and old memories flash as new ones develop. It’s a feeling of coming home for these Kansas State University and University of Kansas alumni.

Wabash Cannonball

The sports bar parking lot is lined with cars bearing Wildcat license plates. Once inside, a sea of people in purple gaze up at giant screens playing the big game from the previous week. This tradition has existed for many years for the crowd of 20 or so who come together as Catbackers. Pam Paulsen, K-State class of ’91, explains that the group feels like family. She grew up in Manhattan, where her parents worked for K-State. Pam, the horticulture extension agent in Reno County, has been involved with the Catbackers of Reno County for five years and helps plan the group’s annual golf tournament and banquet. “The tournament involves around 200 people and raises funds for athletic scholarships,” says Pam. “Athletes and coaches come from the university to attend the event, and last year it raised approximately $10,000.” Also on the agenda is the annual tailgate in Manhattan for these Reno County Catbackers. They provide the food, charge a small fee to attend and enjoy the camaraderie of local alumni before the game. Mary Kay and Jim Harders have been proud members of the Reno County Catbackers since the club was founded 35 years ago. The couple attend picnics in the summer and the annual banquet and golf tournament. “We’ve traveled to 11 of the 13 bowl games K-State has attended,” says Jim, K-State class of ’66. Dawn Veh’s blue eyes seem to turn purple as the 1985 K-State graduate describes her dedication to the Wildcats. “My dad graduated from K-State in 1956 and always loved taking us kids up to the Aubrey Abbott Patterson, left, Bailey Stiggins and Hope Swartz dance around during a showing of the Sunflower Showdown at Carl’s Bar.


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localprofiles games. We tailgated, and he’d take us to the ‘old stadium’ where he played and tell us all his football stories. It was great.” Dawn and her family, of Hutchinson, have continued the tailgating tradition and daughter Taylor is now a K-State student. “Food depends on the theme or the time of the game,” says Dawn. The Vehs, season-ticket holders for 15 years, enjoy sharing the Catbacker tradition with Dawn’s sister and brother, who played in the Wildcats’ first bowl game in 1982. The Vehs go to the Catbacker watch parties and always attend the Reno County Catbacker tailgate. “You can stop at anyone’s tailgate party at K-State and eat with them,” says Dawn. “We’re all family. It’s just a great tradition.”

“My kids talk about it all the time. Some of their favorite memories are following Jawhawk sports.” – Allen Fee

Rock Chalk

Bleeding crimson and blue for four generations, the Eriksen family continues to support the university through the Reno County chapter of the KU Alumni Association in various ways. Marla and Jeff Eriksen, 1979 KU graduates, have three daughters who have attended, or are attending, the university—following in the footsteps of their great-grandparents, grandparents and parents. Marla and Jeff help sponsor the Reno County/Harvey County Kansas Honors Program that annually recognizes high school seniors in those counties. “This involves a dinner and a dictionary for all students in the top 10 percent of their class and a possible scholarship for those that go on to attend Kansas University,” says Marla. This year the banquet involved 77 seniors from Reno County who heard from keynote speaker Kevin Corbett, president of the KU Alumni Association. “We receive a great deal of support from the local KU alums in the sponsorship of this honors program,” says Jeff. Marla and Jeff were honored as 2010 recipients of the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award for their work with the Reno County Alumni Association. There are 1,278 KU alumni in Reno County and 319 members in the Reno County chapter who recruit and honor students, attend athletic events and enjoy other social and academic opportunities, including the Jayhawk Invitational golf tournament in the fall. Allen Fee’s Jayhawk lineage began in 1896 when his paternal great-great-grandfather attended KU. Almost 115 years later Allen, an ’84 graduate, sits at his desk in Hutchinson and talks about enjoying KU football games as a family for more than 50 years. “I remember as a child going up to Topeka on Friday nights to my grandparents’ house and then on Saturday us all heading over to the football game,” he says. Sons Tyler and Jordan, who play on the football team, are the fifth Fee generation to attend KU. The boys’ grandmother, Martha Fee, KU class of ’55, rarely misses a game or tailgate party. Allen’s sister and brother from Kansas City meet them in the same area of the parking lot where they have tailgated for years. “I told [my wife Kriss] we have to take lots more food and drinks this year as we have two sons up there going to school and they have lots of friends,” says Allen, carrying the torch of a Jayhawk dad. He adds that their work with the KU Alumni Association is important, especially in sports right now. “It’s just great memories,” Allen says. “My kids talk about it all the time. Some of their favorite memories are following Jawhawk sports. Traveling to San Antonio, Madison, Wisconsin—we just made family vacations out of those trips.”

TOP Alumni Rex Byer, Angela McDonald, Mandy Swisher and Patterson cheer on their alma maters. ABOVE The K-State and KU rivalry runs deep in Hutchinson where alumni groups come together to watch games.

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A Family Galleria Art becomes a shared passion and a virtual business opportunity story by Amy Con kli ng Photography by De bor ah Walke r


oug Trowbridge’s family art gallery no longer has walls. Instead of relying on a building of bricks to feature his award-winning paintings and watercolors, the Hutchinson artist has transformed his gallery into an online operation. It’s a long stretch for the accomplished painter. Doug and his wife, Margaret Owen-Trowbridge, opened two Trowbridge and Trowbridge Galleries in 1975 in Hutchinson and Newton. As time went on, they shortened the name to Trowbridge Galleries and closed the Newton branch, then eventually the Hutchinson branch. With their recent online endeavor, the Trowbridges are finding their possibilities, and customer base, unlimited. “We’re able to reach customers as far as China, Russia, Ukraine and Israel,” Margaret says. “The website is very in-depth. Just to upload one painting is a process that could take several hours. We’re going beyond the brick-and-mortar gallery.” Which is exactly what the Trowbridges want. Doug and Margaret, better known as Margie, bring their unique talents to the gallery, which also features paintings by their 20-year-old son, Matt, who has studied alongside his talented father. Doug

TOP This unique painting by Doug Trowbridge, titled Portrait of a Prodigy, will be featured in an exhibit hosted by the National Watercolor Society. ABOVE The Trowbridge family displays much of their work at the Hutchinson Reno Arts and Humanities Council.


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As a youngster, Doug enjoyed sketching and continued his hobby in the Philippines when he served in the U.S. Army. One night, while Doug sketched, a friend asked if he had ever considered art as a career. From there, Doug dedicated his life to it, earning a degree in commercial art at the Art Instruction Schools in Minnesota. He worked at Beech Aircraft and Fortune 500 companies as a creative illustrator and commercial artist. He and Margie met and married 26 years ago and moved to Hutchinson in 1989. In addition to their son Matt, they have a 25-year-old daughter, Whitney, who’s married and lives in Wichita. Doug says his inspiration is people and finding one-of-a-kind ways to portray them through alla prima paintings, which are created quickly, and similar methods. “I prefer my paintings to be like a wellconstructed short story rather than like an epic novel,” says Doug. One of his most memorable portraits, for example, features a family of four children. Doug painted each child individually but in the same location and stance instead of putting them in a group together. Most recently, he became a signature member of the National Watercolor Society with his painting, Portrait of a Prodigy. This


“We’re able to reach customers as far as China, Russia, Ukraine and Israel. … We’re going beyond the brick-and-mortar gallery.” – Margaret Owen-Trowbridge

piece was selected among the best for the society’s prestigious exhibit and national tour that starts in January. When he’s not painting or creating pieces for his online gallery, Doug teaches painting and watercolor classes for Keller Leisure Arts Center. “We have great fun,” he says. “And I enjoy helping individuals who may want to start a new hobby or pick up a paintbrush after several years.” Margie

Margie has spent many years working behind the scenes at the gallery, managing the accounting, organization and other day-to-day operations. “As any business owner knows, it is 24/7,” she says. Now she’s the one building the website. Margie spends much of her time taking pictures, researching and posting collections in ways that will appeal to customers. It wasn’t until recently, though, that the public could actually see her artistic side. Known for her hats, accessories and passion for creating jewelry, she began piecing together items with custom-designed outfits. Margie even recalls a time prior to an art function when she designed and made her outfit, complete with jewelry and a hat, on a day’s notice. “The boys know to leave me alone when I’m creating,” she says with a chuckle. In recent years she has showcased and won awards for her jewelry at the Kansas State Fair. Margie starts from the basics, using polymer clay to make the beads, and then designs and wraps the chains with wire to finish the piece. She also has learned that he best way to showcase her colorful necklaces and bracelets isn’t through the website but by wearing them. “Her creativity is mind-boggling,” says Doug. “The way she can sew an outfit and put together a hat and jewelry in one day is amazing.” Matt

Matt brings a young, fresh perspective to the family business. While only a few of his paintings have been featured in the online gallery, Matt says his style is a continual work in progress. Much of his approach, though, comes from the concepts he learned from his father during much of the last decade. “I’d like to say that my work is conceptual realism,” Matt says. “I do a lot of impressionist work, too. I like to make people think deeper and to consider why we feel certain things. An emotion I like to work with is the feeling of lost, being unsure, and what makes it significant.” He’s not one to paint idly either. “I believe that art is very necessary, and I devote a lot of thought into what I’m saying with my brush,” Matt says. “Art is very necessary to do that.” Much like his dad, Matt says he can’t imagine his life without some form of art in it. He hopes to someday become an art teacher so he has the chance to pass on his love of art to others. “My parents have shown me the legacy of art, and I want to live up to that,” he says.

TOP Paintings by Doug feature a variety of scenes. Flowers From the Heart, right, is a piece inspired by son Matt and his girlfriend Der. CENTER Matt works on a selfportrait. LEFT Margie’s jewelry is made from polymer clay-based designs.

MORE INFO profiles/trowbridge-galleries.html

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


stor y by R ichard Shank

p h o t o g r a p h y b y D e b o r a h Wa l k e r

The Wild Horse and Burro Program at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility offers life-changing lessons in responsibility and patience


While establishing the Wild Horse and Burro Program at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility in 2001, Louis Bruce came up with the slogan “Saving Horses and Changing Men.” Nine years later, and three years after Bruce’s retirement as the facility’s warden, more than 1,000 wild horses and a small number of burros have been retrieved from the wild, then tamed, trained and adopted to round up cattle at feedlots or provide horsepower for trail rides at tourist attractions. When he became warden in 2000, Bruce made it a point to interact with the inmates after noting many


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“This is a fantastic program that not only trains horses but teaches responsibility to the inmates.” – Mike Eckroat

TOP left Program Director Dexter Hedrick has worked with the program for seven years. LEFT Louis Bruce began the program in 2001 during his time as warden. ABOVE Although, Bruce has retired from the Correctional Facility, he continues to train animals on his land in Lyons.

individuals behind bars lacked communication skills. “I thought it would be good to put my authority on hold and talk to the inmates like any other person,” says Bruce. “In turn, I seemed to earn the respect of the inmates.” While attending a meeting in Colorado, Bruce observed a facility that incorporated a wild horse-training program for inmates. He thought the program would be a good fit at Hutchinson and provide the inmates a special opportunity to work with animals. The Kansas secretary of corrections signed off on the program but cautioned Bruce that he was on his own—no public startup funds were available. Bruce soon found himself on the phone with the Kansas secretary of transportation, who committed several semitruckloads of surplus highway guardrails. Calls to oil well drilling companies resulted in donations of numerous loads of pipe. Soon drivers on Kansas Highway 61 who passed the facility noticed crews constructing what looked like horse pens. A visit from an official with the U.S. Department of Interior resulted in the commitment of 300 wild horses to be trucked to Hutchinson from national parks. With all of this accomplished, it seemed that the only thing lacking was a barn to house the horses, but a stroke of fate would soon resolve that dilemma as well. After officials in Marion County seized 50 starving and abused horses with no place to house the animals in 2002, they contracted with the Hutchinson facility to provide food and shelter for the horses until suitable homes could be found. In turn, Bruce used the funds to construct a barn next to the pens. In 2003 Dexter Hedrick began overseeing the Wild Horse and Burro Program. With Dion Pope as training supervisor, the pair lead 18 inmates who apply to work with the wild horses. If selected, the inmates find themselves doing everything from baling hay to cleaning and maintaining the barns and grounds used for training horses. There are more than 300 horses on site along with half a dozen burros. “Burros are a unique animal,” Hedrick says. “They assume ownership of everything on a farm and are often used by farmers to protect newborn calves from predators such as coyotes.”

A solution According to Hedrick, Congress first studied the issue of wild horses in 1971 after discovering that the animals had overpopulated federally owned lands. Legislation was created to help protect the animals by moving some of them to


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National Wild Horse and Burro Program

TOP Various items were donated to the program in its infancy, including surplus highway guardrails from the Kansas Department of Transportation. RIGHT On average there are more than 300 horses on site and about six burros. ABOVE With indoor and outdoor arenas, horses can be trained year-round.

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Louis Bruce came up with the slogan “Saving Horses and Changing Men.”

William Blackburn exercises a couple horses behind a wagon at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility.

havens for training and eventual adoption, in turn thinning the population. Currently there are correctional facility programs in Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah similar to the one in Hutchinson. The horses may seem a little restless upon their arrival in Hutchinson after a trip of up to 2,000 miles. After they are unloaded, it’s right to work. Typically horses will be placed in stalls for a week or so to calm down. “The horse is a very smart animal,” Hedrick says. “They know that we are predators, so we must gain their trust to prove that we are not going to harm them.” Pope’s parents purchased his first horse when he was 18 months old, so the opportunity to work with a group of mustangs is a dream come true. “Training a horse starts rough, with the end result being a gentle animal that can, among other things, teach patience,” Pope says. As adoption is the end goal, trained horses can be purchased at anywhere from $350 to $1,000 per animal. An untrained horse that did not partake in the program can be adopted for $125; all adoptions are made by appointment to those approved for adoptions.

The effects During a lunch break, several inmates commiserate about their experiences that morning while training horses. Inmate Nash Derrick has spent the past six years as a trainer and believes the program has taught him patience and an understanding of other beings. Gerald Willesen, another inmate, says he has learned how smart and stubborn a horse can be. He is impressed with how the animals bond with their trainers and has taken a special pride in working to teach the animal something new.


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The horses also benefit those who purchase them. Mike Eckroat, of Victoria, was so impressed with his first horse from the program that he returned to adopt a second. Eckroat and his family attended the 2009 Kansas State Fair shortly after the death of his daughter’s horse. While walking the fairgrounds, his daughter spotted an exhibit highlighting the program, which included just the horse that she wanted. After convincing her parents it was the right thing to do, the Eckroats took an extra passenger home. This fall, Eckroat returned to Hutchinson to adopt a second horse that the family uses for rounding up cattle and trail riding. “This is a fantastic program that not only trains horses but teaches responsibility to the inmates and should assist in some way for their careers once they are released,” Eckroat says. Bruce calls the wild horse program one of his proudest accomplishments during a 30-year career with the Kansas Department of Corrections. Today he can be found working on his farm near Lyons as a full-fledged horse trainer. He remains the program’s top salesman and shares how animals were a positive influence upon him as he endured a troubled childhood. For Bruce, the payoff often comes during chance meetings with former inmates who now live exemplary lives. They are happy to tell him that the change was due in large part to the time they spent training horses at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. “There is a parallel between the lives of the wild animals and the inmates in that both have run as a herd and in doing so have overcome hunger and rough terrain,” says Bruce. “Participation in the program has provided the inmates to not only teach trust and respect but to receive it in return.”

health&fitness 6 | HEALTH NUT We continue our series of articles on “Health Nuts” from Reno County

These individuals, young and old, seek a healthier lifestyle through many forms of well-being and exercise. Our sixth installment focuses on Opal Wilson, a volunteer at the Elmdale 50-Plus Center.

Health Nut: Opal Wilson The nourishing life of volunteering Story by Amy Con kli ng

Photography by A aron East


pal Wilson’s choice of hobby may surprise some. Every December, the Hutchinson resident can’t wait to head down to Texas and spend a month with her son—all so she can ride his powered parachute. “It looks like a dune buggy in the air,” Wilson says. “My son drives it, and I ride behind him. It’s so much fun to be up there because you can see everywhere.” What might be most surprising, however, is that this parachuting woman is 97 years young. Unlike some people several decades younger, Wilson is proud to declare her age. She states her age in a matter-of-fact tone when asked, adding her birthdate for good measure. “I’ll turn 98 on January 13,” Wilson says. “It’s easy to remember—January 13, 1913. Think 13.” Wilson amazes the hundreds she sees and works with on a frequent basis at the Elmdale 50-Plus Center, where she has


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Opal Wilson, volunteer extraordinaire, has served at the Elmdale 50-Plus Center for more than 25 years. She helps with providing meals and balancing the money. BELOW Wilson considers her work as therapy, keeping her happy and healthy. LEFT

“She’s an unstoppable type, much like the Energizer Bunny.” – Toyla Frondorf

volunteered for more than 25 years. “She’s a go-getter, no-nonsense kind of woman,” says Marlene Ferguson, who works with Wilson. Simple well-being

Wilson credits her longevity to staying active and involved, and doesn’t know life any other way. Shortly after Wilson’s children, Ron, 75, and Kenneth, 71, entered school, Wilson spent her days in PTA programs and volunteered as a room mother. As her sons aged, Wilson decided it was time to get a job. She worked at Montgomery Ward in downtown Hutchinson for a few years before transitioning to cafeteria work at Grandview School and Liberty Middle School in Hutchinson. Wilson takes a simple approach to her well-being. Three or four times a week, she uses a cardio machine in her home to do various muscle exercises, working her arms and legs. She does several fast repetitions during her mini-exercise sessions. And her diet? Three square meals a day. “I’m not a big eater,” Wilson says. “When I eat at the 50-Plus Center for lunch, I tend to eat lighter at dinner, like fruit and toast.” She’s not one to stay at home, either. Toyla Frondorf, superintendent of the 50-Plus Center, says she can count on seeing Wilson almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday when the center serves lunch to a crowd of nearly 200 people. Wilson counts and records the money taken in at lunch. She takes this job seriously. While lunch isn’t served until noon, Wilson can be found in Frondorf’s office around 10 a.m. MORE INFO When she isn’t counting the money, Wilson makes Elmdale 50-Plus Center sure things are running Hutchinson Recreation Commission smoothly in the kitchen and 400 E. Avenue E assists with special events. (620) 663-6170 “She’s an ble type, much like the

Energizer Bunny,” Frondorf says. “She’s hardworking, all about business and is sharp as a tack.” Wilson sees her volunteer duties at the center as therapy. In 1985, when her husband, Bill, died after 51 years of marriage, Wilson was yearning for a place that could offer friendship and comfort in a time of loneliness. She drove to the 50-Plus Center and quickly assisted with arts and crafts and became involved in the center’s meals. “They were potluck at the time,” she says. She’s been there ever since—volunteering her time, despite various attempts to get her on the payroll. “This is my therapy,” Wilson says. “After my husband died, I came down here every day, and doing this has kept me here.” Health battles

Wilson spent most of her adult life without any major sicknesses until two years ago, when she had a hip replaced and doctors found breast cancer. Doctors removed the cancer, which was their only option. “I told them I wasn’t going to do chemo or radiation at my age,” Wilson says. Both surgeries would slow most people, regardless of age. Not Wilson, though. Weeks after each incident, Wilson was weaving her way through the tables of the center with her walker, making sure everything was set for lunch and the cash box was ready to go. “The doctor said he removed all of the cancer, so I’m good to go for a while longer,” Wilson says. And that’s exactly what she’ll do, because she shows no signs of slowing down. In the meantime, her fellow staff members continue to enjoy the life stories, adventures and tales that she shares. “She’s the one you’re comfortable telling all of your secrets to because she is so trustworthy,” Frondorf says. “And she’s the one you want to go for advice because, I swear, she really does know everything. Her recall is amazing.”

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine



Honing Character Students gain confidence through American Karate & Martial Science Story by B r ad Eve nson Photography by Ethan Kapl an


n this day the “Lil Dragons� are practicing the kicks they learned earlier. Soon the youth intermediate class will take to the mats at the American Karate & Martial Science building in Hutchinson. As students of different heights and ages fill the space, they greet each other, begin to stretch and rehearse motions and techniques learned from their teacher, karate master Thomas Williams. Lifelong learning

Each student and their parents have stories about how they learned the practice of martial science, and for many of them it involves chief instructor Williams.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Tatyana Huhn practices her kick at American Karate & Martial Science in Hutchinson.

health&fitness LEFT Leah Bentley practices a karate stance as Jalen Barlow catches a glimpse. BELOW Austin Kreutzer talks to instructor Thomas Williams.


American Karate & Martial Science 526-B E. Fourth • (620) 665-3800

Jeff Geesling and his son Levi, 7, have discovered martial arts as an interest they can share while bettering themselves through training in tae kwon do. After hearing about Williams’ practice, Jeff enrolled Levi in a youth beginner class. “It was one of those things that I always wanted to do as a kid but wasn’t as feasible, living on a farm,” says Jeff, who began taking classes in February. “Now it is something we can do and enjoy together. He’s doing great and is teaching me some things.” Like the Geeslings and his other students, Williams has his own story, filled with the discipline that the study of martial arts and science instills. “The great thing about karate is that everyone can do it,” says Williams. “I was one of those scrawny little kids growing up, and if you weren’t big or very fast you just didn’t play any of the major sports with the neighborhood kids.” Williams, 50, got his first taste of karate on a Saturday morning while watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports. The episode started with a military veteran. “This guy in the wheelchair was wearing a white uniform. He had no legs. Suddenly he jumps out of his chair and, with one chop, breaks a stack of bricks,” says Williams. “I said, ‘Oh man, that is something else right there!’” Williams had his first experience with martial arts when he tagged along to a friend’s karate practice at Sylvan Park. “I got to see all these guys in white uniforms, dressed alike, and they were doing what we call forms of prearranged routines while moving together,” says Williams. “I thought, ‘Man, I want to do that too.’ It was artistic to me because my God-given talent is to draw and paint, and I looked at it through artistic eyes.” Immediately he asked the teacher if he could join the class. The answer—that there wasn’t any room—was surprising to Williams. “I’m this little kid, 11 years old, and I see this whole park and I’m thinking, ‘What do you mean, you don’t have room?’” says Williams with a laugh. Despite the class size limit, Williams stood by a tree for two weeks and watched the class. He eventually was allowed to join and later went on to become one of teacher’s first students to earn a black belt.

American karate—emphasize the importance of the technique and its form or appearance. Martial science places more importance on the effectiveness of a technique and its value in real-world combat. Williams knows the two are dependent and teaches his students the technique and forms in order for them to be most effective in case of combat. “There’s nothing mystical about it,” he says. “It’s the science of angles and circular movement and where not to be when an attack comes.” Martial arts, which Williams has spent much of his life learning, involves the practice of discipline, self-respect and building confidence. These traits are important for students of all ages but particularly the younger ones, who will carry these lessons for the rest of their lives. “The martial arts are hard to beat as far as health benefits go,” says Williams. “You’re using your whole body to perform several moves or a combination of moves.” Jeff Geesling agrees. “It will really work on getting you into shape. The little ones don’t realize it that much, but they’re getting a great workout.” Beyond the obvious fitness aspect are the self-respect and discipline that accompany it. All students can benefit from improved focus and confidence. “Whether you’re a student improving your grades or on the job feeling more comfortable in your abilities and presentations, the discipline learned in the martial sciences provides that focus,” says Williams. Jeff has seen Levi’s behavior and skills improve during nearly two years of classes. “When you’re on your own testing yourself out there, it improves your coordination and self-esteem,” he says. “We’ve noticed Levi become better-disciplined in school as a result.” While learning defense measures that ultimately can disarm or immobilize an opponent may seem violent, it is done with respect for each other and the teachings. Williams notes that most of his students have never been in an altercation. “There is more to martial arts than just executing your techniques,” he says. “It’s about building your confidence and character, like standing in front of the judges and performing the way you practice.”

Beyond fitness

Many assume all karate is the same. In fact, martial arts, martial science and tae kwon do are different. Martial arts— such as

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


Q&A Photography by ethan k apl an

Q&A with Woodwork Manufacturing & Supply owner

Jay Schrock


few minutes spent with Jay Schrock offer a lesson in hard work and the power of believing. “I am not sure what the good Lord has in mind for me, but he’s led me way beyond anything I could possibly imagine on my own,” says Schrock. In actuality, Schrock has paved his own path. Having worked with Woodwork Manufacturing & Supply for 50 years, including 27 as the company’s owner, he has seen the rewards of perseverance and community firsthand. “The one thing that I’ve always really tried to promote is that Woodwork [Manufacturing] always tries to give the best quality product and the most friendly service,” he says. But for Schrock, the success story involves more than that. It includes working against the odds with an eighth-grade education, taking great faith in family and friends, and giving to the community while never expecting a thing in return. Those who have worked with Schrock will agree. And those who don’t know how should consider enrolling in Life 101 with this local businessman and community servant. You might learn a thing or two. HM: When did you learn of your

passion for woodworking? JS: When I was a little kid, I always liked to make

things, and I built most of the stuff I played with. I built little toys then got a little older and built some cabinet shelving. I’ve just always enjoyed working with wood.

HM: Why do you think community

is important? JS: Community, I think, is only what you make it

to be. I came into Hutchinson in 1960 and really didn’t know anybody, [so] I really tried to get involved in community things. You just meet the nicest people when you get involved in any kind of community project. There are always so many nice people. … I think that anybody that doesn’t get involved would just have a lonely life and a misconception of the community. HM: What about Kansas inspires you? JS: I think Kansas is about as friendly a state as

they had two people who’d made $10,000 a year. I knew I was going to do that. I always liked woodworking, so Frank Nichols and Charlie Steed took me in when I really had no actual working experience. … I’ve worked in every department Woodwork had. In 1973 they sold out to Architectural Millwork, and Dick Currie made me the general manager of the woodwork division. From ’73 to ’83 I was in charge of that division. Then in ’83 they sold the woodwork division to me and my family, and we’ve had it ever since.

HM: What famous individual would you dine with? JS: [Most important would be] the people in the

community—people I can learn something from. That’s what I enjoy most, just to have lunch with people that I look up to, that I feel like have been very successful. That’s probably what I would have to say to be the most important because I have learned so much from them. HM: You mentioned something

HM: Over the last 50 years you’ve

about a race car.

worked your way up to owning it.

JS: I’d never seen a car race until I was 20 years

JS: Yep, I just outlasted everybody I guess.

old, but when I saw that race I said, “That’s something I have to do.” Probably the best compliment I’ve ever gotten was when I was in a 100-lap race and it was our last lap. I finished third. The next day I went to visit a friend here in town and he said, “Oh, I have to tell you what my kid told me last night. … [The kid said] ‘I thought I was really flying, and the old man went right by me!’” I thought that was a nice compliment from a young kid that can recognize that an old man can still have fun.

HM: What got you into the

business of woodworking, and then Woodwork Manufacturing?

there is to do business in. … It becomes tougher and tougher for a small business to survive, but I think Kansas is still very friendly toward small business. And it’s also small enough that you can know your representatives and your governor. You can just know the people that are in charge of the state of Kansas.

JS: I left the home when I was 18 and worked

HM: If you were giving advice to other young business owners, what would it include?

on elevator construction crews, set pins in a bowling alley, picked cotton, did a lot of odd jobs. I guess I couldn’t keep a job. I interviewed at Woodwork, and March 2, 1960, was my first day. My No. 1 reason for wanting that job was when I interviewed, Frank Nichols told me that

JS: It’s not a 40-hour-a-week job. … I feel strongly that if you’re not doing what you enjoy, then you should probably be trying to find something else. … Fifty years would be an awfully long time if I didn’t enjoy what I was doing.

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Katy Ibsen.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


travelideas story by G lor ia Gale Photography courtesy of Cape Cod Cham b e r of Com m e rce

Ocean Swells


Name d amo Forbe s Trav ng ele “Ame rica’s r’s 25 Most Visite d Touri st Site s.”

ape Cod is a bit of a conundrum to first-time visitors. Only two hours from Boston, it’s light years from the hustle and flow of urbanity. Instead, once you venture onto this spit of land surrounded by water, life turns to clapboard cottages, lobster rolls and flip-flops. Don’t expect to find a lot of dash and swagger on these strands, because Cape Cod is as unpretentious as ever. The Cape is known for its huddled communities that haven’t changed much since the Pilgrims stepped onto Provincetown back in the 17th century. The 15 communities comprising this stew of seaside villages are considered some of the oldest in America. Thanks to Cape Codders, who take pride in keeping their domain honest, the charm of New England remains and the welcome sign is always flying.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Photograph by Elaine and Gordon Rondeau

Bright lights, big city? Not a chance. Cape Cod beckons with simple pleasures

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


More than anything, the Cape is defined by water. The peninsula juts 35 miles out to sea—surrounded by Buzzards Bay to the west, Cape Cod Bay to the north and Nantucket Sound spilling into the Atlantic on the east and south—and is edged with nearly 560 miles of coastline. The consensus seems to favor relaxing, fun and family-friendly beaches heralded by generations who flock here year after year. Seaside stretches with names like Sandy Neck, Old Silver and Chatham Light draw crowds from June through Labor Day. After the summer crush, the Cape relaxes as crowds retreat and the area’s solitary beauty reveals itself. Before the briny air calls you oceanside, a journey to get the lay of the land is in order. Take a road trip to pick and choose from among these colorful Cape towns. The easiest way to navigate the 160-mile circuit begins near the Cape Cod Canal. After crossing the Sagamore Bridge connected to the mainland, head east on Massachusetts Route 6A.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Sandwich, the oldest town on the Cape, was settled in 1637 by the Puritans and remains a glass-making center. Stop by the Sandwich Glass Museum to view cut glass from different eras. Visit the 17th century Dexter Grist Mill, which is still grinding and selling delicious stone-ground cornmeal. Stop for a pot of tea at the cozy Dunbar Tea Shop. Just outside town, the Heritage Museums and Gardens of Sandwich feature a variety of reconstructed historic buildings including exhibits of a 1912 carousel, Currier and Ives lithographs, and an extensive classic automobile collection. After passing the low dunes of Sandy Neck beach, you’ll arrive in Barnstable, then roll into family-friendly Dennis. About now, the salty air will whet your appetite for the epitome of Cape fare, and the heavenly lobster roll found at the casual Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis is sure to please. Next up is picturesque Brewster, a quintessential sea captain’s town with more than 50 historic homes. The Cape’s most extensive inland preserve is found nearby at Nickerson State Park, where visitors can enjoy hiking, biking and fishing options. If the Cape’s ecosystem intrigues, spend time at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. The peninsula starts to narrow at the historic “Outer Cape” town of Orleans, edged by the bay and the Atlantic. The drive enters the massive Cape Cod National Seashore where 44,600 acres of beaches, sea cliffs, dunes, pitch pine and oak forests comprise the landscape. Route 6 approaches a picturesque jumble of streets that lead into the colonial seaport village of Provincetown. Affectionately known as “P-town,” this colorful waterfront community attracts a robust mélange of artists, visitors, anglers and whale-watchers. Paying homage to our history is the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, a must-stop for an educational visit. Back on the Mid-Cape, alongside Nantucket Sound, is the famous Kennedy compound of

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Photograohy by William DeSousa-Mauk, Sandwich Glass Museum, By the Sea Orleans, William DeSousa-Mauk.


Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine




Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Sandwich Glass Museum Heritage Museums and Gardens of Sandwich Nickerson State Park Cape Cod Museum of National History Cape Cod National Seashore Pilgrim Monument Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Photograph by Kevin McElligatt

Hyannis Port. Seaside Hyannis is Cape Cod’s big city, figuratively speaking, complete with a mall and ferry connection to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Local favorite Cooke’s Seafood has unsurpassed dining. Falmouth is the Cape’s southwestern-most point. Originally a whaling and shipbuilding center in the l9th century, the town clusters around the famous 1796 First Congregational Church and steeple holding Paul Revere’s bell. Finally, end your journey in the little fishing town of Woods Hole where the world’s largest private, nonprofit ocean research center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was founded in l930. This East Coast experience can be as relaxing as you want. After Labor Day, the Cape is quiet but the ocean is still wild and alluring. At the very least, let yourself be lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean—purported to be nothing short of heaven.

C a m er worth aspots y

family The fitness programs at Buhler elementary and middle schools are designed to keep kids active.

The Perfect Fit

Buhler students are getting active with a grant-funded P.E. program STory by J ean ette Ste i n e rt Photography by Ethan Kapl an


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine



Drusilla Medrano

Jackson Singleton



uhler students in kindergarten through eighth grade have a lot of pep in their step these days. The district’s physical education program is in the second of a threeyear grant of almost $200,000 from the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). The aim is to move gym class beyond the jumping-jack, competitive game-playing mindset of 30 years ago and make physical fitness enjoyable and part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s part of the district’s Moving to a New Standard program. Having met state standards for physical education in the past, Buhler is tweaking its curriculum to match federal standards as well at its four elementary schools and one middle school that serve students. According to the American Heart Association, the minimum amount of moderate activity needed to support a healthy lifestyle is 150 minutes a week for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and 225 minutes for seventh- and eighthgraders. “Our goal is to have 80 to 85 percent of students getting that much by the end of the grant period,” says Jeff Voss, Prairie Hills Middle School physical education and health teacher. The grant was written to incorporate an interactive physical education program called HOPSports and other equipment. HOPSports is a computer, video and sound system with more than 100 interactive segments and applications for any grade level. Each segment, projected from the system’s mobile cart onto the gym wall, has instruction from a professional in that field and coordinating activities for kids. A special series for younger students in kindergarten through second grade features the LazyTown cartoon characters as they lead the activities. Subjects include familiar sports like tennis, golf and basketball as well as other options such as yoga, swimming, zumba, aerobics and kickboxing. All activities hit upon things like agility, balance and coordination. “The focus is getting students moving—throwing or catching more than the game itself,” says Annette Van Bruggen, Prairie Hills physical education teacher. Students with a taste for competition can still get that with the Wake Up Prairie Hills program, when the gym is open for about 30 minutes before and after school for intramural play. So far the morning average has been about 40 kids a day. “It’s amazing the way their actions change for the rest of the morning when they get the wrinkles out,” says Van Bruggen.

Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Heart monitors are also part of the district’s program for middle school students. They wear them strapped around their chest during physical education classes and their information is totaled and printed at end of a nine-week period, prompting awareness of their physical fitness. Heart rate watches are being introduced for students in younger grades who currently use pedometers to measure steps, activity time and moderate to vigorous activity. Students in kindergarten through third grade start by learning to keep track of their steps and about the difference between moderate and vigorous activity. “We explain to them that every movement is going to record, so if you are tired, walk instead of run. Little kids love it—want to look at it all the time,“ says Melissa Siemens, K-3 physical education teacher at Union Valley. The program also introduced community volunteers who wear heart rate monitors during their daily routines. Correlating to their career, activity and stress levels, results are posted prominently on a wall outside the gym door. “Students see that heart rate levels at work are often higher than when exercising,” says Voss. Dr. Tim Lackey, advisory board member for the Moving to a New Standard initiative and dad to Maren, a first-grader at Union Valley, was one of the volunteers for the heart monitor project. “I love how the program gets kids excited about physical education and shows them how they can use technology to exercise,” he says. “I like the way it educates kids about how much activity to do each day and what to do at home to be physically active. They’ll come back and tell the teacher what they did at home after they had learned that playing basketball in the driveway, soccer in the yard or dance practice all counts as physical exercise.” The second year of the PEP grant is dedicated to nutrition. Physical education classes must apply what they’ve learned about health and nutrition and make videos, which are broadcast through KIDZ, the interschool multimedia site. “It’s hard to get in five hours [a year], but at the rate of three to four minutes a week, it adds up fast,” says Van Bruggen. Prosperity School fifthand sixth-graders make FIT NUT posters using photos of each other doing activities, explaining about moderate activity and fitness, that are displayed at the schools and some businesses. Prairie Hills also sponsors a physical education night every year for the district. Last year the new equipment and program were showcased to about 400 people. Lackey says his daughter loves P.E. and enjoys telling her parents about the activities and showing them what she’s been doing. “The program has gone over really well. Anytime you give kids a goal and things to work toward, they usually strive to meet it,” he says.

the cool

P rty animals

Grayce Tankersley takes to the rink during a birthday party at Skateland Family Fun Center in Hutchinson.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Kiddos come out of hibernation for extraordinary

winter birthday celebrations

U sto ry by a m y b i c k e l

Under the multicolored lights that flicker across the wooden floor, children spin around the roller rink during a skating party.

P h oto g r a p h y by e t h a n k a p l a n

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine


“It’s fun to see the children interact with other children.” – Pamela Gould

LEFT Kerri Brown, Skateland owner, is no stranger to the popularity of the rink during the cooler seasons. BELOW Birthday girl Jessi Renhart, center, celebrates another year with roller skates.

Skateland Family Fun Center 3101 N. Lorraine St. (620) 662-8332 Cost: For 1½ hours of skating it’s $7 a person, and $9 a person for 2½ hours of skating. Package includes admission, skates, table décor, ice cream, drinks as well as free tickets to the rink’s bounce house. The $9-a-person deluxe skating package also includes party favors such as a card for a free skate.


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Meanwhile, Ashlynn Clark shuffles around in a pair of roller skates—the star on her ninth birthday. Presents line a nearby booth along with drinks and a cake. Children laugh as they put on their skates and grab hands to head out for a whirl. “The skating rink is great place for the kids to come and hang out together—the excitement of it all,” says Angela Clark, Ashlynn’s mother. “They can come in later and have cake and ice cream, then go back out and skate.” And when the day is over, Clark won’t have to worry about the cleanup. “That is one of the best parts,” she says. For children born during the winter months, playing games in the backyard, having a pool party or hosting a barbecue near the playground usually aren’t birthday options. Likewise, the thought of a dozen kids crowding into a living room, stomping on cake or spilling punch seem less than ideal to some parents. Across Hutchinson there are plenty of hasslefree options for children’s winter birthday parties, whether it’s skating to music, playing dress-up at a local museum, watching a magician or spending a day at the salon. Rink celebration Skateland Family Fun Center and owner Scott Brown are veterans at putting on youngsters’ birthday parties. In fact, Skateland often hosts several birthday celebrations in one weekend. “I don’t have any problems saying we are the leader when it comes to doing birthday parties,” says Brown. “We pride ourselves in entertaining the kids, serving parents—anyone who has a birthday when they walk through the door.” Brown would know, because he’s been in the roller-skating business for about 30 years. The business also provides ice cream sandwiches, soft drinks with free refills, table decorations and, yes, even the cleanup. “I brought the cake,” says Clark, who is here for a second year celebrating Ashlynn’s birthday. “She absolutely loved it, which is why we came back this year,” she says.

Kansas Kids More than a Museum 1500 E. 11th Ave., Hutchinson Mall (620) 669-5156

TOP Kailynn Atkinson mixes up a blue concoction at the Kansas Kids Museum. CENTER Pamela Gould, Kansas Kids Museum director, has seen many educational parties thrown at the venue. BOTTOM Maggie Lane Kaplan plays around, fascinated by the sand pit.

Cost: Cost is $3 per child. Adults get in free during the birthday party. Parents can rent the old theater room for $50.

A day at the museum Found in a former theater at the Hutchinson Mall is a place where children can play hard—and learn something—at the Kansas Kids More than a Museum. “We have created a child-sized community. We consider it learn and play,” says Pamela Gould, director. “We have 13 stations where they are role playing, pretending, using words and language, and interacting with others.” Kids can goggle at a rock collection, do hands-on earth science activities and get creative at the crafts area. Pebbleville is a kid-size community complete with a grocery store, house, dress-up area and other activities aimed at preschool to grade school children and their families. The old theater and stage also can be used during a party, providing a place to serve the cake and ice cream. “The kids will come in and out, play for a while, then go get refreshments,” Gould says. “It’s fun to see the children interact with other children.” Magic act Parents who want to keep the party at home (and are in no fear of a mess) often wonder how to keep a group of kids entertained. Glenda and Mike Mann have the answer. The Hutchinson couple offer music and magic for birthdays and other events, such as festivals, company parties and the Kansas State Fair. Their shows are 30 to 60 minutes and include magic tricks, such as a white rabbit appearing out of a hat. Mike is a ventriloquist and uses puppets, and both incorporate songs and dance into the show. “The child is the star,” Glenda says. “We make it all about the birthday child and personalize it as much as possible.” The birthday boy or girl gets to help make a “magic birthday cake” as part of the couple’s magical comedy routine. The deluxe party includes animal twist balloons for up to 25 children, as well as a large balloon sculpture for the birthday child. “We try to make the birthday party something they will remember for the rest of their life,” she says. Glamour girl Back in the day, a birthday makeover meant girls sneaking into a mom’s makeup bag during a slumber party. Now local beauty salons are offering an alternative by catering to the young glamour girl. Chad Turner, owner of Headturners Salon, says his 4,000-square-foot salon offers plenty of space for a girl’s birthday. These pint-size clients come in for up-dos as well as manicures and pedicures. “It’s pretty fun for them to get all made up and their hair done,” Turner says. “The little girls seem to enjoy it a lot.” Sometimes he contracts with Tea Celebrations to put on a tea party for the girls, complete with little sandwiches and sweet treats liked chocolate-covered strawberries. “We’ve had six little girls all at once getting mini manicures and pedicures and having a tea party,” says Turner, adding that some girls wear party dresses for the big day, sporting boas around their necks. “We’ve even had a little fashion show after they all got made up.”


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Glenda and Mike’s Magic Show (620) 663-7345 The 30- to 60-minute show includes magic tricks, singing, ventriloquism and interaction with the children. Cost starts at $125.

Headturners Salon makeover birthday 2528 N. Main St. (620) 663-8649 The party can include a variety of items, such as up-dos, manicures, pedicures and even a tea party. Cost: Varies depending on package. Manicures typically start around $9 a child. The catered tea party averages $10 a child.

Sure, in midwinter, a sunny poolside birthday party might be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t heat up the party space with a fun and catchy theme. Need advice? Just ask Carol Froese, owner of Décor Party Supplies, 10 S. Main St., a business that sells everything from cups, napkins and invitations to piñatas and banners. She’s seen the fads come and go and come back again during 27 years in the party supply business. “What to choose as a theme really depends on the age,” she says. It also depends on what’s in style, she says. Move over Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake and Snoopy. Make way for SpongeBob, Thomas the Tank Engine and Hannah Montana. “Fads come and go, and some even come back,” Froese says with a chuckle. While many themes cross over between genders, for boys, popular themes include television cartoons Scooby-Doo and Thomas the Tank Engine as well as Hot Wheels and the movie Cars. “John Deere also is popular for our paper goods,” Froese says. “Camouflage is really in, too.” For girls, there is cartoon character Dora the Explorer as well as Disney stars Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers or product that includes cats or dogs. And, of course, Froese says, “princesses are very big— one of our bigger themes in popularity.” Other themes for any child include Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Sesame Street’s Elmo. Here biggest themed seller: the first birthday. “It’s huge,” she says. “People will drop $100 to $200 on a first birthday. It always surprises me.”

Planning a party

Oddly enough, the doctor’s office is a popular attraction at the Kansas Kids Museum.

Winter 10/11 | Hutchinson Magazine




dec-mar 10/11

december December 9-12 | christmas on parade. Hutchinson Theatre Guild presents

a vaudeville show that includes singers, tap dancers and performances of several songs of the season. Festivities take place at the Historic Fox Theatre. Tickets are pre-sold at the Fox Theatre box office. Children $8 and adults $10. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. (620) 663-5861.

December 16 | Coffee at the Cosmosphere. Each month, the

Cosmosphere opens its doors for morning coffee and discussion. For December, the topic is “Barbie Loves Buzz: Space Toys.” 9 a.m. (800) 397-0330.

December 16 | Hutchinson Symphony Concert. The Hutchinson

Symphony will perform traditional Christmas music alongside Acoustic Eidolon at the Fox Theatre. 7 p.m. (620) 663-5861.

December 16 | Third Thursday’s Live Nativity. Artists and musicians will join actors and animals from Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm for a live nativity at the Reno County Museum. 5 p.m. (620) 899-4060.

December 18 | Hyde Park Luminaria. Hutchinson’s Hyde Park

neighborhood will glow with the light of more than 17,000 luminarias lining the streets and sidewalks. Event includes hay rack rides and carolers. Look closely and you might even see Santa. 6 p.m. (620) 662-1517.

january January 8 | Take me home: the music of john denver. This is a must-

see for any John Denver fan. The Fox Theatre presents Jim Curry, the voice of Denver in the CBS made-for-TV movie, in a tribute with many of the late artist’s hits performed. Tickets start at $23. 7:30 p.m. (785) 663-5861.

January 20 | coffee at the cosmosphere. January’s topic is “The Sacrifice

of Exploration: Tragedy in Spaceflight.” Take part in the discussion, enjoy a cup of coffee and see artifacts from the Cosmosphere collection. 9 a.m. (800) 397-0330.

february February 5 | diamond w wranglers & Hutchinson symphony.

Country Western music meets the symphony at the premiere performance of the Diamond W Wranglers and the Hutchinson Symphony Orchestra at the Fox Theatre. Tickets start at $23. 7:30 p.m. (620) 663-5861.

February 13 | Reno round-up. A fundraising event for the Cancer Council

of Reno County, the annual Reno Round-Up includes a chuckwagon dinner, entertainment and silent and live auctions at the Kansas State Fairgrounds. (620) 665-5555.

February 17 | coffee at the cosmosphere. Catch an early look at the

“Snoopy Soars with NASA” exhibit during this month’s discussion. 9 a.m. (800) 397-0330.

February 19 | 24-hour play festival. The Hutchinson Community College

Theatre presents 25 student actors, six playwrights, six directors and six technicians as they come together to write, direct and perform six plays in 24 hours. Students will spend the day creating and rehearsing and then perform for an audience that evening at BJ Warner Recital Hall. 7:30 p.m. (620) 665-3503.

march March 1 | Parade of Quilts in Yoder. Spend the day experiencing the 11th annual Parade of Quilts in Yoder. Take the self-guided tour of hand-stitched quilts that will be on display at participating businesses throughout town. No admission required. 10 a.m. (620) 727-4720,


Hutchinson Magazine | Winter 10/11

Please submit event information to: (Dates and times subject to change)

Hutchinson Magazine Winter 2010  

Hutchinson Magazine Winter 2010