Prairie Village News 4/26/16

Faron Wahl, Manager

A sunny welcome to spring from Prairie Village! The calendar is about to turn to May, bringing with it the opening of the 50th anniversary season of the Village. We look forward to celebrating with you this milestone year.

Rather than starting by telling you about me, I find more pressing business appropriate for this first column, and it has to do with giving credit where it’s due.

For the past eight years, Prairie Village has been the beneficiary of the steady leadership of Stan Rauch. In this man fresh out of a long and successful career serving us in the United States Air Force, the Village found itself in November 2007 seating a manager who would bring in one package stability, professionalism, and a genuine South Dakota friendliness to a non-profit ripe for it. A responsible organization must see to it that while the publicly visible operation is being appreciated and enjoyed, someone with deep leadership ability is actually at the helm, rendering skillful public diplomacy while also piloting through the untold slog of minutiae that together literally add up to the only successful map forward. This was Stan.

A man of his elite military background has arguably more to brag about than most of us ever will, but you never get any such attitude from Stan. He is an affable man, short on ego and long on good nature. These and many other leadership qualities are what Prairie Village needed. And that’s exactly what they got.

If I had five dollars for every time recently someone has said to me, “Do you have any idea what giant shoes you have to fill?”, I would certainly have a tidy little nest egg set aside by now. The answer is, “Oh my, yes”. I have a pretty good idea of the size of those shoes, and I won’t pretend to fit exactly into them. I can’t be Stan, nor will I do him the dishonor of trying. I can simply promise all who so proudly cherish the heritage of and potential for Prairie Village that I will always do my very best in looking out for her interests, and I’ll do so with integrity. I consider it a privilege to follow a manager and gentleman who has for many years led this organization with an eye forward, understanding and living out the critical qualities of behind-the-scenes detail and quiet honor. I don’t worry about the size of those footprints, but rather consider it a true benefit that they are there for the following. I choose to embrace such excellent circumstance, and furthermore consider myself, and certainly Prairie Village, all the richer for it.

And good news: Stan isn’t disappearing from the scene. He is currently serving as a board-appointed consult for a couple of months to further pave our managerial transition. He has also indicated that he has every desire to remain active at the Village, already evidenced by his taking on the gargantuan task of serving as Jamboree Camping Coordinator. The Village will be better for it, and I’m thrilled Stan is willing to command that ship. It means we can continue to look forward to working with him and seeing him on these grounds already so well-marked by his footprints.

Thank you, Stan, for your many years of dedicated and heart-driven leadership. Prairie Village salutes you.

Our annual consignment auction is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at the Village. Be aware the absolute cutoff for consigning and delivering any items to be sold is 8:30 pm on Friday, May 6. Also please note that the scope of the auction has made it necessary to no longer allow any small household or rummage sale-type items for consignment. We hope you will come out for the auction, and in turn join us for Opening Day at Prairie Village the following day, Sunday, May 8. We look forward to kicking off an exciting season that day, with carousel and train rides available, including free train rides to all mothers in celebration of Mother’s Day. See you there!