The North Bend Eagle

Morse Bluff meeting
One by one, things are getting checked off the to-do list during a planning meeting ahead of the August 10-12 Morse Bluff 125th anniversary celebration.

Morse Bluff Q125 a labor of love

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/1/12

It’s almost here. A year in the planning and the Morse Bluff Q125 is scheduled to kick off next Friday. Just like a wedding, let it happen or the committee will keep finding things to plan for.

And so let it be. Members of the committee are excited to see the weekend finally arrive.

“We’ve got quite a bit put together,” Randy Kremlacek said. He has served as chairman of the Q125 committee since its inception. “Now it’s a matter of enacting it.”

Kremlacek, a native of Prague, was involved in the Prague centennial celebration 25 years ago and knew what work it took to make a successful event. He has lived in or around Morse Bluff since 1981 and now serves as a member of the Morse Bluff Village Board. Kremlacek kept bringing up the need to get started organizing an event for the town’s 125 anniversary last summer.

Q125 Planning committeeMembers of the MBQ125 planning committee pictured are (back) Galen Johnson, Eric Chvatal, Jerry Soukup, Randy Kremlacek; (front) Arlele Hines, Kathy Mensik, Barb Soukup and Don Bosworth.

“They were dragging their feet with no one getting excited,” Kremlacek said.
With some people in the country excited, an organizational meeting was planned for August 2011. When it came time to elect a chairman, “everyone pointed at me,” Kremlacek said.

Others serving as officers on the committee are Kathy Mensik, secretary; and Linda Minarick, treasurer.

Starting with no funds, the group received a $5,000 loan that got things going. Fund raisers were planned, vendors were solicited, ideas were acted on.

Mensik is a native of the Webster area and has lived in Morse Bluff for 22 years, serving the last 14 years as village clerk. She volunteered to help Kremlacek when he was looking for help.

“It started out small, and has gotten much larger than we planned!” Mensik said. “I have spent a lot of hours on the phone coordinating many details for the weekend.”

Minarick is a 20-year resident of the village, but has lived in the area since her husband, Ted, started his gravel business in 1983. She worked on the centennial celebration, but wanted to be a little more involved this time.

“After that long, you begin to stake a claim in your territory and develop pride that moves you to have a good celebration,” she said.

The events the committee has held so far and the parades they’ve been in to publicize their weekend have been fun, Minarick said.
Everyone brings different strengths to the committee.

“Just trying to pull them all together at the same time is a challenge, but doable,”Minarick said. “That’s what makes this diversified community so interesting.”

In addition to the leadership trio, there are almost 20 people who have attended the planning meetings and contributed in some way.

Brooke Zakovec grew up in North Bend but married a Morse Bluff native, and now she lives on her grandparent’s farm place in rural Morse Bluff, so her heritage run deep in the area. She and her husband, Brent, got involved when they attended a town meeting. Both of them volunteer with the local fire department and are experienced with street dances, so they offered to help organize one.

“We are looking forward to the entire weekend,” Zakovec said. “It will be a wonderful celebration and great time to bring some old memories back.”

Barb and Jerry Soukup are also among the volunteers. Jerry is a lifelong resident of the area. Barb taught kindergarten at the Morse Bluff school for 17 years before changes in the school system caused her to move to another job.

“I miss the closeness of being part of the community,” she said. “Getting involved was my way of saying thank you, Morse Bluff. It was my way of giving back.”
Barb is looking forward to having her sons and the five Soukup brothers together for the weekend, as well as seeing former students and all those who will be “home” for the weekend.

One concern voiced by all the volunteers is having enough hands to help out so that they, and all the volunteers, can enjoy the weekend. Anyone able to volunteer, for as few as a couple hours, is asked to call Mensik at 402-666-5264.

Kremlacek said their goal is to make sure everyone has a good time. They are striving to provide enough free events so people will be able come and enjoy the weekend.

Being a farmer, Kermlacek is stressed with the irrigation going on and prays for a beautiful weather weekend.

“Rain or shine, we’re going to put this show together,” he said.

Kremlacek is already looking ahead to the 150-year celebration. At 52, he doesn’t plan to have a big part in planning the next Morse Bluff party.

Arlene Hines probably thinks Kremlacek is counting himself out too early for the 2037 sesquicentennial.

The 81-year-old is a neighbor of Kremlacek and they talked last summer about the need to get going on the 125th celebration of Morse Bluff. When the meetings started Hines was there, and she has continued to be a regular at the meetings.

“Being older, I just sit at the meetings,” Hines said, “but I do put my two cents in once in a while. The younger people have the ideas. I just enjoy going.”

Hines has made her contribution by helping with the advertising. The 57-year resident of Morse Bluff, along with her son, Bob Hines, have gone to seven other area town celebrations to ride in the parade with a banner advertising the Morse Bluff celebration.

Hines is planning on enjoying the Q125, but she is worried that the drought may break that weekend.

“A lot of work went into (the celebration), but you can’t control the weather.”

Minarick is ready to take a deep breath and enjoy herself. Of course, she wants others to do the same, but she said it would be good if some of them kept a notebook handy.

“I keep telling the younger generation,” Minarick said, “that they really need to pay attention because 25 years goes by really fast and the next one, which will be bigger, is up to them.”

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