Pride - More than an emotion
By Christy Hopkins
It is Saturday morning, and a young mother walks through Saks on Broadway, picking up a shirt for herself, pulling out a toy for her child, and picking up a few books from the 25 cent shelves. When she is finished, she walks to the counter, where volunteers wrap up her purchases. She hands them a $5 dollar bill, and the ladies give her change. For the customer, it is a fun morning of shopping at an affordable price. For the volunteers, Saks on Broadway is a way to show their Pride for the community.
Because in Greeley County, Pride is more than an emotion. Here, it’s an action plan.
Greeley County Pride is a collection of 18 women who work devotedly to fund, support, and initiate projects that beautify Greeley County.
Since its creation in the early 1970s, local Pride members have dedicated themselves to a range of activities, reaching from the creation and improvement of parks, holiday activities, lighting, and decoration, special community events including a community-wide Easter Egg Hunt and Santa House to a Yard of the Month and a Christmas decorating contest, as well as a myriad of other projects too lengthy to list.
Though originally affiliated with the state-wide PRIDE program, the group went on its own in the late 70s, after finding the paperwork and scrap booking requirements to be time-intensive. Stepping out on their own, they continued to operate by the principles of Pride, focusing on area beautification and improvement.
In the late 1990s, Loy Oldham, owner of the former Western Motors building in Tribune, donated the building to Greeley County Pride. The group quickly incorporated to a 501(c)3, and after beginning repairs on the facility, opened Saks on Broadway, a thrift store which funds their many projects.
The building was in need of a great deal of work, and in their time as owners, Greeley County Pride has replaced and repaired heating, electrical, plumbing, windows, ceiling tiles, divided the building, replaced signage, and painted the interior and exterior. The most recent improvements include installing an automatic garage door to the storage portion of the building and purchasing a trailer. They use the trailer to haul excess product to Goodwill in Garden City. Donations that cannot be salvaged or resold are taken to the Greeley County Recycling Center, which Nadella Koehn, Secr./Treas., emphasizes “How fortunate we are to have!”
Saks on Broadway offers second-hand, gently used products in both clothing and home products. Ranging from clothing to couches, televisions, books, home décor items, and much more, Saks on Broadway boasts a wide-array of products for a multitude of tastes, styles, and sizes. Too, it’s a choice destination when shopping for special events. When a school play or Spirit Week rolls around, volunteers are more than happy to help the students find era-appropriate clothing or the perfect attire for Wacky Socks Day. When the Long Term Care hosts its annual Senior Prom, Saks on Broadway provides attire for the residents at no cost.
Saks on Broadway is open every Tuesday from 9 a.m. - 12 noon., on Fridays from 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. All times listed are Mountain Time. Some hours change with the seasons.
Saks is run completely by volunteers, and all proceeds are directed to Pride projects or contributions to other projects which benefit the community.
Outside of Saks, the ladies have often led individual projects in the areas of their particular passion. In the 70s, Wilda Werner led the charge to plant trees on the island south of the fairgrounds, pool, and ball fields. Around the same time, Nadine Gooch and Georgia Epp began working on holiday lighting, purchasing white lights for the downtown businesses, and acquiring decorations for the light poles. Upon her arrival in Tribune, business owner and Pride member Mary Wright set to work painting the exterior of Saks on Broadway.
In 2003, two members, Nadella Koehn, and the late Mary Thon, planted a “garden” next door to Saks on Broadway, in what was previously the old car lot at Western Motors. Though the ground was a difficult to work with, the ladies persevered, and Broadway (Main Street) in Tribune is now graced with a flower-filled park with a patio and benches for passersby. Located directly across the street from the Greeley County Senior Center, the park is a favorite reflection of the changing of the seasons for those who use the center and the community at-large.
Current PRIDE members attribute much of their success to the community’s eagerness to lend a hand and to help out whenever asked.
“The City of Tribune and Greeley County (now Unified Greeley County) have always backed Pride 200%,” says Koehn. “Anytime we’ve asked, they’ve always been there to help out at a moment’s notice.”
Local businesses and community members are much the same. Whenever needed, others pitch into lend a hand, doing the physical labor for a project, donating bags for Saks on Broadways’ end of the season sack sales, or adding a dollar or two to support a project. Many, too, have remembered the impact of Pride in their final wishes. It was Grace Hart’s (a former kindergarten teacher at Greeley County Schools) bequeath that allowed Pride to install decorative street lights and brick planters throughout Tribune’s downtown. It was memorial dollars in honor of Mary Thon and Carol Howell that enabled Pride to install the brick patio at Pride Park.
Though activities may have evolved over the years, such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt going from real to candy then plastic eggs, or the library taking over the Santa time during the holidays, one thing has remained unchanged: the ladies of Greeley County Pride are dedicated to ensuring the cleanest, brightest, downtown area possible.
Greeley County Pride, Inc. always welcomes new members and encourages anyone who is interested to join the organization. For more information, please contact Nadella Koehn at (620) 376-4842, Judy Nix at (620) 376-2113, Melissa Walk at (620) 376-2040, or Mary Wright at (620) 376-2006.