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BIG Dream Gathering Topeka  

Big Dream Topeka group


The BIG Dream Gathering brought dreamers out in droves on September 6. Thank you to all of you who volunteered and participated. The over 300 participants posted their personal dreams anonymously on the walls around the room, sharing them with other dreamers and hoping to make a connection or just a word of encouragement. People did write on the dreams sheets, suggestions and encouraging words were provided. The Heartland Visioning office collected all the dream sheets and mailed them back to the owner of the dream.


 "We've seen a lot of people go after their big dreams even in hard times because they've written those dreams down and gotten some help," said Mitch Matthews, BIG Dream Gathering creator. "And we know that real people going after big dreams is what made this country great."


Now that the dream sheets have been returned to the dreamers be looking for individuals in our community to build on the connections made through the BIG Dream Gathering and pursue turning their dreams into reality. 


"In the past few years, thousands of dreams have been posted and countless connections have been made, including everything from an elementary teacher getting the help she

Big Dream Topeka kids

needed to send truckloads of school supplies to Africa to a couple of people connecting and working together to attain a contract with Nike" stated Matthews.


Plans are now being made for next year's BIG Dream Gathering Topeka. To learn more about the BIG Dream Gathering and to read some of our local dreamers stories shared with Matthews visit 


Inter-city Visit takes community leaders to Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville intercity visit

Many vision partners participated in the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce's annual inter-city visit September 15-17 to Greenville, SC.

Each year the Topeka Chamber of Commerce coordinates an Inter-City visit in which community members tour and learn from the efforts and successes of other communities. The results of previous visits have been ideas like: building a strong public - private partnership will get things accomplished faster and better, keeping and attracting young people and involving them in the decision making is important to the growth of a community, embracing assets such as rivers and universities help build the future of a community, pride is the best sales and marketing tool to promote your community and having a community vision helps communities get to where they want to go - which lead to the formation of Heartland Visioning.


Greenville is a city of 60,000 people; the county is 478,000 people, who enjoy a quality of life that had to adjust to a changing economy and local migration patterns 30 years ago.


Christy Caldwell, the chamber's vice president for government relations, said Greenville once was known as the "Textile Capital of the World" before reinventing itself through long-term visioning going back 30 years, and a commitment to its master plan for the city's downtown.


"They've had a 19 percent growth in their population in their (metropolitan statistical area) over the last 10 years," Caldwell said.


Caldwell described Greenville's downtown as "vibrant," with a linear layout similar to Topeka's, which makes it an excellent example for us to explore and learn from.


Participants of the trip were able to experience the  Greenville Technical College, the  Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) , vibrant  downtown, NEXT, a business incubator that helps cultivate small businesses and Pulse, the young professionals program.


Topekan's are thinking healthy  

Shawnee County Largest Workout


September 13, the second annual Shawnee County Largest workout was held at Yager stadium on Washburn University's Campus. Sponsors of the event were the YMCA, Shawnee County Health Agency, Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods and Heartland Visioning.

"The Shawnee County Largest Workout is a great way to bring the community together to promote health while having fun." Said Shawnee County Health Agency Public Information Officer, Misty Kruger.

Shawnee County Largest Workout participants


There were over 300 more participants this year bringing the total to 844. A health fair was also held with vendors providing information, goodies and activities for small children. 

Fall classes begin at NOTO Community Arts Center


October 1 local artist Bailey Marable will hold four sections of an Art Exploration class for various age levels and an Art for All class. In the hour long class students will have the chance to focus on contour drawing, watercolor, and mixed media collage and will leave with several finished art pieces. 


October 18, October 25 and November 1, local artist Kris Luber will offer three one-hour sessions creating Broken Tile Mosaic for Beginners, students in grades 5-8. Students will design and create their own finished plaque by drawing, designing, grouting and polishing the piece, which they will take home with them.


For more information on these classes call 785.939.9631 or

Local band present charity event for Jayhawk Theatre renovations 

Jayhawk Theatre logo


Monk's Wine, a local four-man piano group, is coordinating a charity event to benefit the historic downtown Jayhawk theatre. The event will be held Saturday, October 1 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 8th Avenue between Kansas and Jackson in downtown Topeka and will feature seven bands as well as a silent auction. An all day pass to the event is $5 per person.


"This event is designed to show Topekans and surrounding cities what Topeka has to offer. The theater is in desperate need of attention and revitalization and the city needs to get behind that," said Ashley Reynolds, of Monk's Wine.


Two stages have been donated by Uncle Bo's and will fill the streets of downtown with some of the most diverse music Topeka has to offer. The lineup will include everything from rap to folk and acoustic rock to blues. The bands headlining the benefit have compiled a CD for the event that will be available for $10. The silent auction will feature area businesses and their wares, all donated for the event. Silent auction items will be available to view and bid on at Celtic Fox.


All the proceeds from the event will benefit the Jayhawk State Theatre of Kansas in its efforts to restore and bring the 1926 historic theater back to life. During the benefit, the theater will be open for tours at 720 S.W. Jackson Ave. 

For more information.


Volunteers needed this weekend for Energy Star Awareness & Sustainability Expo 


The Topeka Energy Star Expo, a free event will be held at the Ramada Convention Center, 420 SE 6th, on October 1 - 2,

Energy Star

 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.


Volunteers are needed on either day (or both) to help with various activities, mainly the raffles, andhelping with the kids' activities.If you would enjoy working with kids on energy efficiency related fun activities please contact Scott Alisoglu.


There will be 50 exhibitors, including Best Buy, Topeka Nissan, Frito Lay, Lowes, Westar, Lewis Toyota, Konza Solar, Building Codes Assistance Project, Habitat for Humanity, Washburn Tech, McElroy's, Scott Temperature, Shawnee County Solid Waste & Recycling, Pella Windows, USD 501, Water Pollution Control, Resourceful Kansas, Sustainability Advisory Board, H & R Block, Kansas Energy Office, and many more.


Below are just a few of the prizes that will be raffled off:
Energy Star Refrigerator from Lowes ($1,399 value)

Energy Star HD 40" TV from Best Buy ($699 value)

Free Energy Audit

Free Tax Preparation Package

Energy efficient power strips

Watt Meters

LED Bulbs

Solar Path Lights

Topeka Transit Bus Passes

12 Months of Curbside Recycling

Thermal Leak Detectors

Do it downtown
CDP Marketing Committee announced the new marketing campaign for downtown earlier this month by hosting a pep rallyFull Story.

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