Senator Jerry Moran had nothing but high praises for the people of Stafford when he presented four Building Better Communities awards to representatives from the city, Saturday.
Moran praised the citizens of Stafford for their efforts in maintaining their community business and downtown with the opening of the Stafford mercantile where the Duckwalls store once stood, innovative ideas in education with USD 349 SEED program and all the residents of Stafford County for retaining a local hospital.
"It's an honor to be here," said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran to a crowd of guests gathered at the newly opened Stafford Mercantile, Saturday. "This is the 11th time we've picked out a community in 17 years to honor them and recognize the value of what they do."
Moran presented awards to Clayton Grimmett, President, Stafford Mercantile and County Commissioner; Gemma Austin, President, USD 349 Board of Directors; Todd Taylor, Administrator, Stafford County Hospital and Dennis Bronson, Mayor, City of Stafford.
Moran talked about how small communities across Kansas face the same issues with the lose of businesses, hospitals and places to shop, which feeds the cycle of decline by forcing residents, especially seniors, to have to move out of communities they have called home for many years.
He talked about his hometown of Plainville and how that is becoming a reality for his parents with loss of healthcare and businesses.
Moran also pointed out it takes more than just a community to keep the resurgence growing.
"It takes the cooperation of the entire county to keep things moving in the right direction," he said.
He talked about how if everybody would try to buy at least one thing they needed locally it would help the area as whole.
"It's like toilet paper, for instance. It's something we all need, it's something we all use." He said in response to the buy a roll of toilet paper campaign at the Mercantile.
Moran's office created a video depicting some of the reasons Stafford was chosen for the award.
Carolyn Dunn at the Stafford County Economic Development office hosted the presentation event along with the Stafford Mercantile membership.