Build it and they will come, the object is to get them coming back
You can have a great attraction and people will come to see it. The object is to keep them coming back for more.
That is what has happened and continues to happen in Webster, but this time with two attractions and two big events. Webster hosts the State B VFW 12 and under tournament July 13-15 and in less than a month our aquatic center will be hosting the state seasonal swim meet for the first time.
People are going to see an influx of people in the community for both of these events, but one thing many of them do not see is all the work behind the scenes. If anyone has ever been involved with planning any large event they know it is more than chalking the lines down first and third or putting the ropes out dividing the lanes in the pool.
It is countless hours and numerous volunteers that make events like these happen. From set up to clean up and all the things in between and things that may have been forgotten or not even thought of, you need those people to get the job and event done.
It is making sure not only people in your community are happy, but those who traveled to be here as well. Like the letter to the editor in this paper, it comes down to appreciating the people who came and supported the event and telling them you appreciate them for being here as well and supporting you.
Some might think how do they support me? Through the businesses they support, the people they employ, the sales tax generated and hopefully the hospitality shown them they come back. Even if you are a non retail establishment, you never know where your next employee or client/customer may be coming from.
It could easily be one of those people who enjoyed their time here for an event. A smile and thank you for the business goes a long way. But also remember all the people who put in the endless hours and headaches putting on events like these to draw people to their community.
A weekend with my niece, the Elysabeast
One thing about being the friend or relative of a writer is you never know when you’ll find yourself being written about.
By now my nieces should be used to having a writer for an aunt, yet seven-year-old Elysabeth – whom I had the chance last weekend to see for the first time since Christmas – gave a cry of dismay when I told her I was planning to write about our weekend together.
Don’t get me wrong, this little girl is as sweet as they come but, as I imagine is the case with most kids, she can turn into quite the brat sometimes too.
For the most part, she was really good. We had the chance to spend a lot of one-on-one time together, which I treasure.
She was a super helper, operating the gate when the skeleton crew of my mom and I decided to tackle deworming sheep. She got really excited when I wrote her two songs to practice during her first piano lesson. I think it was a dream come true when I gave her horseback riding lessons and worked with her to a point where I was able to take the mare off the lead line and let her ride all by herself. The smiles she gave me from all those experiences are engraved in my memory and make me feel so happy to have her in my life.
There was one particular instance, however, where lack of sleep caught up to her and she started having something like a temper tantrum. Out of this came possibly my favorite quote of the weekend.
Here’s how Elysabeth turned into the Elysabeast: She had asked me to let her watch one YouTube video on my phone, to which I reluctantly agreed, “Just one.”
“Okay,” she said cheerfully. When it was done, I took my phone back and proceeded to suggest we do something else. My family isn’t a huge fan of using screen time to occupy a child’s attention; reading a book is better (which she does a lot of, by the way).
“Can I watch just one more?” she asked right away. When I replied in the negative, she began having a hissy-fit.
“Nobody lets me do what I want around here. My mommy lets me have my way, my daddy lets me have my way – but you and Grandma won’t,” she said in between great sobs.
I’m sure she doesn’t get her way all the time, but I said to her, “Sounds to me like you’re just going to have to get used to it then.”
“But I don’t want to get used to not getting my way!” she replied and proceeded to completely fall apart.
I may sound like a big meanie, but eventually she calmed down and we did some analogue activity.
Later that night, as she snuggled next to me in bed, she asked me to sing her to sleep. “Grandma always sings me two songs and then I fall asleep,” she said.
She was snoring before I made it through the second verse of “Do Lord.”
I softly sang her second request, “You Are My Sunshine,” anyway.
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