By Samantha Johnson
Schuler will be holding a Centennial celebration in late September 2023. According to Brad Herman, chair of organizing the Centennial, the event is important because, “it helps with community spirit, help the community to thrive and remain vibrant, and it celebrates our past.”
Michaela Holt, who is over-looking the publicity committee, adds, “there is now an entire century of history and so many people’s roots trace back to here even though they may have spread across the country and the world. There are a surprising amount of people that show up when you have a celebration. The 75th and 85th were both very well attended.”
A survey can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QL59GGZ and is based on activities done in the past with a couple of new suggestions. According to Holt, the survey is vital to “discover what is desired at the Centennial. I wouldn’t say that any of the ideas are out of the question, but we would require more volunteers to run them. We are going to be much pickier about what we do if we have a very small volunteer or service base. The more people that step up and become involved, the more we can put on for the community without spreading ourselves too thin. If we do something, we want to do it well. It doesn’t matter if they live locally, just people who are willing to put in some effort.”
Herman was a young child when Schuler held their 50th Celebration and participated by being on one of the floats in the parade. “My mom (Antonia Herman) was involved in all of them as an organizer, so I know how much work it takes. I helped with the 75th and 85th and it takes lots of volunteer effort. It’s busy and lots of work, but it’s fun. Everyone pitches in, it builds community just organizing it. I really enjoyed the committees and helping. The main reason I stepped up this year is because my kids are all young adults and they were young when the last one was held and they think it is so important for the community and their generation. If you dropped something like this, it’s hard to get things back up and running.
It is a big undertaking, but I think it’s well worth the effort and it’s pretty cool when it all comes together.”
Another idea they want to see come to fruition is updating the Schuler history book, another area where they need more help if it is to get off the ground. There is a Centennial Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/schulercentennial/ and Holt says, “We’ve been trying to generate interest in the history book on the Facebook page by highlighting individual family stories.”
The last edition of the book was done for the 85th Schuler Celebration, making it only 15 years that needs updating. One way to contribute is by sending in an update on your family and submitting it. Herman stresses the book isn’t just for new residents, the entire Centennial is about “acknowledging everyone and appreciating their efforts in settling here, either in the past or present, and what we have as a community.”
Holt believes it is “a worthwhile venture. We are relatively new to the community. We live on one of the Centennial farms and we’ve been here close to 10 years. It feels like we are always collecting bits of a history that was. We are slowly learning everything that came before us. My husband comes across homestead spots all the time. There was so many because they were so much closer back then. It would be nice to have a plaque to commemorate who originally settled there.”
Some of the ideas being discussed are a parade, a banquet and dance, organized and self-guided tours, food trucks, beer gardens. Activities for kids and vintage equipment display. If you would like to see any or all of these, fill out the survey and/or step up to be a volunteer. “If people are interested, they need to let us know what area, it doesn’t have to be a huge role, but many hands make light work,” says Holt.
At the moment, the largest effort is being put into getting people to complete the survey. “We want to know how invested people are in this because if you want all of it and aren’t willing to help, we can’t meet your needs,” says Holt. Herman adds, “even if they are willing to help just for the time they are here for the celebration if they are coming from out of town.”
If you have any questions or want to help out, send a message via the Centennial Facebook page or email Michaela Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org.