Decatur Tomorrow Accredited Community

Community Contact

Deanna Castle 785-475-3227
Jeff Leitner  785-269-7162

Vision Statement

Decatur County - The cornerstone of Northwest Kansas using traditions and values to build the future.

Success Stories

Oberlin is a progressive northwest Kansas town with a population, just under 1,800. The newly completed community center in downtown Oberlin is an example of what can be accomplished when a community works together. An ambitious project, the complex houses a senior citizen center, a movie theater, a youth recreation center and a six-lane bowling alley. Its official name is The Golden Age and Sunflower Recreation Center. The price-tag for this project was $1,300,000 with most of the money raised through individual and corporate pledges and countless fundraisers. Construction is complete with finishing touches being added to the exterior of the building and some landscaping. Community events have already been hosted in the dining area and meeting room of the senior center including family reunions, class reunions and wedding receptions. The Sunflower Cinema seats 110, and offers first-run screenings of many movie releases, also includes 3-D capability. The lobby area of the theater doubles as the youth center. Spearheaded by the Oberlin-Decatur Area Economic Development Committee and the Decatur Area Development Fund, Inc., under the auspices of the Decatur Area Chamber of Commerce, the center will be a multi-generational gathering place for many years to come.

A letter to the editor
The Decatur Tomorrow Steering Committee was impressed by the turn out for the Community Conversation on a “Healthy Community” held on June 15th at the Gateway. Approximately 150 people found it to be a significant issue and were present to voice their support and interest in the future of our county.

Amazing ideas and comments were a result of this Community Conversation which were followed up on at the June 27th Vision Retreat. A core group of 21 people who volunteered (as a result of the Community Conversation) their time and efforts, congregated at Faith Lutheran Church for this Vision Retreat moderated by Terry Woodberry and Chrysanne Grund from Public Square Communities, Inc. The retreat addressed concerns, ideas, and issues surrounding the health status of Decatur County. Small groups of 5-6 people held discussions which led the community members to decide 3 action teams were needed to address a healthy community. The three action teams are as follows: Positive Community Culture, Recruitment and Sustainment of Health Providers, and Communication. These three action teams consist of 6-8 people. The groups will have meetings to discuss creative, positive, and unique ways to address all issues at hand. There will be a concerted effort for the action teams to get the most pertinent information to the public in a timely manner. It is the goal of the Decatur Tomorrow Steering Committee to encourage cohesiveness in the community and start the process of growing a stronger and healthier county. Can our committee ask a favor? Would you go out on a limb and ask your health care/provider family members, friends, or acquaintances, etc., if they would consider living in Decatur County which is a quiet, safe, and clean environment to raise their families. We have a beautiful community with quality people who care. All of us working together can make a difference by communicating this to others. As Andrew Carnegie said “Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon goals”.

Decatur Tomorrow Steering Committee Co-conveners,

Kem Bryan
Deanna Castle