Five outstanding, young Emmetsburg residents were honored at the Chamber Banquet last Friday night. Four of the five returned "home" to Emmetsburg to be in business and raise their families. Each had a similar story about Emmetsburg.
Beth Elman grew up in Emmetsburg. She had the chance to move back, but wasn't too thrilled, thinking she would stay in the Des Moines area a little longer before moving back to a smaller town. It happened sooner rather than later and it ended up being a great opportunity. She started with Wild Rose when they opened in 2006. "I love my job. I love being back home," she said.
Kelly Bay thanked Sarah Frederick, Molly Veldboom and Stacy Theesfeld for their support since she moved back to Emmetsburg and opened her business. "We have had so much support from family, friends and community since we moved back," she said. "I don't think there is anywhere else in the world that would be better to raise a family or start a business."
Amy Martini said, "Sometimes I think about my decision to move back to Emmetsburg, to live here and work here and raise my family here. It always really comes back to very grateful I am for such great people to work with, the experience and the opportunity, working with so may of you here in this very room."
Matt Mueller said, "When the award (5 Under 40) was brought up, I thought it was a good idea... Some of the more mature population in Emmetsburg doesn't understand what the youth does for the community and how much we work we put in."
Tony Kauten was humbled to accept the award with his fellow under 40s. When asked what he had been involved in, he said "you don't feel like you've been involved in very many things". People have ask "are you crazy" when they find out his level of involvement in city government. "You have to realize, if you want to live in a community and truly make that community better, sometimes you have to stick your neck out a little bit, maybe say some things that not everybody agrees with, that aren't the popular opinion. But if you are really interested in making your community better, I think it is your job to stand out and try and do the right thing. Everybody that's here, everybody that volunteers, truly has the interest of Emmetsburg at heart."
There is a fairly new organization called FUEL Emmetsburg. Fellowship Uniting Emerging Leaders (FUEL) is a division of the chamber geared toward the younger members of the community.
Morgan Grimm, a member of FUEL, talked at the Chamber Banquet about the group's involvement. They have held two barbecues at Harrison Park, spring and fall, gearing toward their membership drive; hosted four free outdoor family movie nights at the fairgrounds, showing children's movies with an average attendance of 30 children per movie; contributed to the Fourth of July festivities with an ice cream social, volleyball and bean bag tournaments and sponsoring the band on the beach before the fireworks. They partnered with Emmetsburg Retail Association at Harvest Fest and had the children decorating pumpkins and sugar cookies. FUEL?Emmetsburg is always open to new members and new ideas for community involvement.
Do you see the common thread here? These young people are happy to be in Emmetsburg. They are happy to be in business in Emmetsburg and to raise their families in Emmetsburg. They are working to make Emmetsburg a better place to call home.
Emmetsburg is fortunate to have a number of young families in the community. Take a look at some of the projects that are spearheaded by our "young" people. They are on the move and they are making a difference.