I saw something on the Main Street Cerv's sign today that I wanted to share. It said, “Be someone that makes everyone feel like someone.”
I don’t feel I’ve done a very good job of this when it comes to the Thunder on the Bricks organization.
Two years ago, Harold Bettis and Rod Roy came into the downtown visitor’s center to ask for our help in organizing a car show. Downtown Hays Development Corp. jumped right in. We jumped in so far that to the naked eye, it appeared the car show was a DHDC event. Let me assure you the event, in fact, belongs to a wonderful group of committed car and motorcycle enthusiasts who want nothing more than to give back to this amazing community we all call home.
In just two years, the show has raised approximately $12,000 and given more than $8,000 of that back to charities and schools in Hays including Big Brothers Big Sisters, North Central Kansas Technical College, the VFW, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer Council of Ellis County, Hospice and more.
The planning for the event started almost a year in advance, and meetings happened at least once a month. I’m guessing many of you reading this got a visit or two from the men involved asking you to sponsor the event or to print just a few more flyers. Countless hours were spent traveling to nearby shows to spread the word. Many sacrifices were made to ensure an amazing show here in Hays.
If you see any of these men — Harold Bettis, Rod Roy, Mike Hertel, Dennis Schuckman, Louie Gilmore, Kent Laas, Phil Wiesner, Bill Waller, Dave Wing, Roger Lohmeyer, Jackie Lang, BJ Rupp and Jeremy Herl — please take some time to thank them for their hard work and commitment. Each of them poured themselves into this event selflessly with one goal in mind, giving back.
DHDC is honored to have been a part of Thunder on the Bricks and to have played a part in facilitating it. Whether this partnership continues or not, we wish them all the best and continued growth.
This event is the perfect example of what one idea and a little collaboration can accomplish.
Just one or two people with the same passion and drive can, in fact, make a difference. I look forward to the next idea, the next collaboration.
Sara Bloom is executive director of the Downtown Hays Development Corp.