Hopefully everyone in the Manning area will fully support the Ramsey family and their very gracious and generous efforts at providing Manning with a grocery store again.
What do I see?
I see a local Pastor offering words of spiritual comfort in a daily online message. I see a church offering to help the elderly and others obtain groceries because we don't have a grocery store in town. The church discovers there isn't a need because friends and neighbors are already helping those community members. I see an increase in demand at the Manning Food Pantry that serves the IKM-Manning School District but the increase in donations far exceed the increase in demand.
I see an anonymous donor purchase $1500 of Manning Chamber Bucks. They are distributed by the Manning Police Department in $25 increments to sixty households. I see an anonymous donor purchase over $400 of pizzas that were distributed by BrickHaus Brews to employees and owners of downtown businesses for a lunch treat.
I see a Junior High School student lead an initiative to fabricate face guards with a 3D printer for front-line personnel. School employees and others joined her in the efforts. I see college and high school students volunteering their time for the betterment of the community. I see a local teacher step forward and lead a very successful social media campaign for Main Street Manning.
I see community members and businesses providing Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) employees with donuts, flowers and BBQ lunches. Flowers and words of appreciation have been sent to Accura Healthcare and Manning Senior Living Center.
I see community members volunteering their time to help Ramsey's Market stock groceries on the shelves. YEAH, starting Saturday, we will have a grocery store in town again!!
I see a local resident create and install encouraging messages of gratitude and inspiration along Highway 141 and at the IOWA sign.
I see the Main Street Manning (MSM) organization step forward in a true leadership role. Two board members called nearly every business in the downtown district (and beyond) to make sure business owners had access to grant applications and/or helped fill out the forms. They used the opportunity to survey their needs/concerns. In a courageous fashion, Board President Linda Muhlbauer and Executive Director Jean Voege led multiple initiatives. Main Street businesses are in a cash-flow crunch. MSM established the Manning Cares gift certificate program. Twenty sponsors donated $8400 to serve as a match to purchase the gift certificates. Gift certificates to twenty-nine different businesses are available. Using the match, community members received a $30 gift certificate for $20. Over $22,000 has been distributed to the businesses. The program continues and is expected to surpass $25,000.
MSM organized a Mother's Day Drive-Thru Dinner. Cars lined up for blocks mid-day Mother's Day to get a meal sourced from local restaurants. Two hundred and seventy-five meals sold out quickly. Free gift bags, with many goodies from local businesses, were provided to the first 100 moms. MSM took the opportunity to sell Manning memorabilia. Manning's C3 (Christ, Community and Celebration) collected food items and money for the Food Pantry.
MSM's Design Committee made 60+ motivational posters for business owners to display in windows. MSM created a weekly newsletter (currently on issue 6) that provides business-related Covid-19 updates. It has been a valuable resource to business owners who are smothered and confused by dozens of Covid-19 press releases and webinars.
And while doing all this, MSM found time to raise over $5600 in the Giving Tuesday Now program. Monies will be used to continue initiatives for the business community and Manning residents.
The Manning Marketing Committee (with representatives from MSM, the Chamber, the Hausbarn and the City) put ongoing activities on hold to help businesses with the current crisis. The committee diverted $2000 of City grant monies, with City Council approval, to develop and distribute videos to advertise businesses that are still open during this pandemic.
Some aspects of life continue normal activities. I see MRHC adding an adult and pediatric ENT to their list of providers. I see city and utility employees continuing with their normal work activities. I see Manning Municipal Utilities installing fiber optics throughout the entire town. I see people walking the streets and talking to others sitting on their front porch or working in their yards (while maintaining their social distance). I see the extensive trail system being used daily. I see a local resident purchase a property along Highway 141, teardown a house in disrepair, cleanup the lot and plant grass seed…all in the interest of community betterment.
I see a community that is #StrongerTogether, that is truly #Refreshing.
Yes, #thisismanning, #thisisiowa!!
Bonnie Ramsey setting up a new shelf - lots of work still has to be done.
The Ramseys knew how important it is to the residents to get the grocery store open as soon as possible.
The nice thing about Manning's store is there will be safe distancing during the Pandemic.
Not crowded like those large grocery stores in other towns.
Finally, fresh meat in Manning again.
Theo Ramsey running the check out line.