Y Notes

Nothing to do? Not in McCook

  • Ronda Graff
  • 17-Aug-2018

Today, I dropped off the third Graff child for college at UNL.

A few weeks ago, we were talking about all the things he would be able to do in Lincoln, from meeting new people to participating in new opportunities to attending new events.

That is when he lamented that McCook didn’t offer those same options.

It is true that McCook doesn’t have the same range of restaurants and shopping and can’t host the same number of activities; we simply don’t have the population base to support everything we want here.

But you cannot say we don’t have anything to do.

This past weekend is a perfect example of amply opportunities and activities in the area, from Old Settlers in Indianola, to the Malleck Memorial Thrashing to the Prairie Roots Festival in Barnett Park.

And those are just a few of the events around the area.

But it took people coming up with an idea. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take willingness to devote time and energy to a plan.

For example, look at the Dive-In Movie, the YMCA hosted Friday with Youth Change Reaction as a back-to-school event for 11-19 year olds.

It’s a simple idea: show a scary, water-themed movie while sitting in the water.

But the idea involved collaboration between the YMCA and YCR and McCook High School, which loaned the video and audio equipment.

It took organization to figure out how to create a movie theater in the pool area.

And it took people willing to give up their night to host the event.

A huge thank-you to YMCA Aquatic Director Anna Sis and her lifeguards, Alex Erickson, Alissa Erickson and Moriah Payton, for guarding the pool during the movie.

The response before and after has been great to the event and it is something the YMCA hopes to again, perhaps showing Finding Nemo and Little Mermaid for the younger crowd or Sharknado (so bad, the original made-for-TV-movie has three sequels) for an adult-themed evening.

People wants things to do for themselves and their families, but that requires stepping up to help when asked or when you see an opportunity.

Another great example is youth sports at the YMCA, which cannot function without volunteers.

With youth flag football and youth volleyball registration ending Friday - hint, hint parents - teams will be forming, which means coaches, assistant coaches and officials will be in high demand.

We need parents and adults willing to step in and coach their child and someone else’s child. (O.K. it’s not always necessary to coach your own child and in fact, I’ve discovered it can actually be easier to not coach your own child.)

It is a commitment of time, of expertise and most importantly, of patience.

Without those willing to step up, we wouldn’t have a program.

So thank you in advance to those volunteering this fall for youth sports.

Many people will say they are already busy.

And that is true.

But if we want to have a vibrant, successful community, we need to people willing to volunteer for these events and activities.

And then - and this is almost just as important - take the next step:

Show up for these activities.

I’m not making this last part up:

While standing in the middle of Prairie Roots Festival concert on Sunday, someone lamented to one of the organizers that there was nothing to do in McCook and that we needed more fun events.

It would have been funny if he didn’t have to shout his concern over the music.