Help us in congratulating our two Back-to-School Social Giveaway winners, Kelly Throener of Dodge, NE and Chelse Brazel of Wausa, NE! Each were randomly selected after commenting on our Homework has Evolved Facebook post, sharing the name of their favorite teacher from school and why that teacher made an impact on them. Kelly commented, “Kathy Mahannah…she is the reason I became a teacher. She was the best!” and Chelse said, “Mrs. Worthington was my 5th grade teacher…all those years ago… and she was my absolute favorite! She had (still has) a heart of gold, always made sure we were taught in a fun way and always made everyone feel like they were her own children.” They both have won a 16GB Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition tablets with blue kid-proof cover.
Kelly Throener of Dodge, NE with her family.
Chelse Brazel of Wausa, NE with her two daughters.
Are you looking for your next challenge? Do you enjoy 5k races and ambitious obstacle courses? If so, you need to hurry and register for the 2nd Annual Grey Eagle Warrior Challenge in Chadron, NE taking place on September 8, 2018! Organized by Chadron Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1375, this course is challenging and rewarding as the proceeds go to support Honor Flights in the region, as well as to help finance the VFW Post 1375 scholarship – which is awarded to a veteran attending Chadron State College.
The run will once again start at the Chadron motocross track and will round off at the obstacle course in the Dawes County Fairgrounds. Great Plains Communications is proud to sponsor through our Impact program, three new obstacles: a rope swing, atlas drag and log run. This will bring the total number of endurance-testing features to eight.
Even if you are not feeling up to the physical challenge, be sure to bring the family down for some fun with the community. There will be a boot camp style challenge for the children, face painting, viewing of the National Guard vehicles and The American Legion will be serving food and drinks!
The Chase County Fair is underway with the Mutton Bustin’ this afternoon starting at 3:00 PM (MDT) and the 30th Annual Demolition Derby tomorrow starting at 6:30 PM (MDT). Great Plains Communications (GPC) is excited to once again be part of the fun, as the sponsor of Friday night’s concert of Brothers Osborne and special guest Kendell Marvel! Gates open for the concert at 6:30 PM (MDT) and keep an eye for some of our employees as they will be passing out FREE t-shirts by the entrance. Then on Saturday, you can see us again in the parade as we throw candy along with other goodies from the GPC float.
If you haven’t already, like our Facebook page so that you can be ready for our FLASH GIVEAWAY of two tickets to each concert offered at the Chase County Fair. So that will be two winners, one who will receive two tickets to Brothers Osborne/Kendell Marvel and the other winner who will receive two tickets to the Saturday show of Jack Russell’s Great White and Sebastian Bach! Watch for more details coming soon.
We are excited to once again be a sponsor for the Knox County Fair Bull-A-Rama! Starting tonight, August 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM, the excitement will be underway. As you head in to the arena, be sure to look for some of our employees as they hand out free Great Plains Communications 2018 Virtual Summer shirts. The supply is limited, so grab them up while they last.
If you can’t make it out for the Bull-A-Rama, be sure to catch one of the other attractions the Knox County Fair has to offer! The rides will be running August 9 – August 12. Eli Young Band will be performing at the Grandstand at 8 PM tomorrow night with Arch Allies, a tribute band to Journey, Styx, Def Leppard, Reo Speedwagon and Boston, at the Grandstand Saturday evening. This weekend is sure to be filled with fun for the whole family, and Great Plains Communications is honored to be a part of it. And you can catch us in the Imperial, NE area next week as we take on the Chase County Fair!
In recognition of Gateway to the West Days in Blair, NE this weekend, Great Plains Communications (GPC) is doing a throwback to look back at the years we have spent in the Blair community.
GPC’s founder, E.C. Hunt purchased the Bell Telephone and Farmers Telephone in Blair and that was the final move to bring what we know as Great Plains Communications to the area. A modern telephone building was designed by Omaha architect Frederick S. Scott, and built in downtown Blair at 1638 Lincoln St.
While GPC has continued to expand, now providing high-speed Internet, cable TV, and phone service in over 90 communities across Nebraska through a 9,500-mile regional fiber network extending into Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. However, as large as the company has grown, it was formed in Blair and has remained in Blair.
Find information on all the Gateway to the West Days activities here.
Each year, Great Plains Communications is honored to recognize a Community Service Award winner. This is a person that goes above and beyond as a volunteer in their community. As a company, we are proud to give back to the towns we serve, but even more so to our employees that give their time to better the communities around them. We open it up to all employees to nominate someone they feel deserves the recognition. This year, we would like to congratulate Dave Aten, the Facilities Maintenance Technician at the Blair, NE office!
Dave has served on the Blair Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years. He has held all fire ground leadership positions, including Captain, Assistant Chief, and Fire Chief. In 2017, Dave served as Assistant Chief where he was responsible for safe and effective fire ground operations and training for 46 firefighters. Dave also responded to 250 fire and EMS calls in Washington County, many of which he was the Officer in Charge. His service to the community typically exceeds 10 hours a week, resulting in more than 500 hours in 2017.
Please help us in congratulating and thanking Dave for his time and dedication!
The deadline is quickly approaching for the Great Plains Communications Scholarship and Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Scholarship. No matter if it is a big University or a two-year program at a Tech School, the price of college continues to rise. Great Plains Communications wants to help with the burden of those glaring numbers. Our scholarship program has allowed students to attend schools across the state, majoring in agriculture, law, engineering and much more.
With the deadline of February 1 less than a month away, we encourage you to download the Great Plains Communications Scholarship here and send the completed application packet to the following address:
Great Plains Communications
P.O. Box 500
Blair, NE 68008
The FRS is an affiliate of the National Telephone Cooperative Association (NTCA), an organization of independent telephone companies across the United States. Applicants should be graduating high school seniors with a C grade point average or above and have an interest in returning to a rural community after graduation. The FRS Scholarship application requires a signature of sponsorship from Great Plains Communications. To apply, see your school’s guidance counselor or log onto the FRS website at www.frs.org. Completed applications must be submitted to the following address by February 23.
On November 4, 2017 Melissa Fuchser celebrated five years with Great Plains Communications. Originally from Gordon, NE, Melissa is the Supervisor of the Chadron, NE Customer Response Center.
The Chadron office was part of the Charter acquisition that was completed in 2005. Great Plains Communications (GPC) acquired not only Chadron, but also Rushville, Gordon, Oconto, Broken Bow, and several smaller towns. Along with the long-term lease of the office space in Chadron, it was staffed with two customer service representatives who became GPC employees. From that time, the local staff has grown to three reps and a supervisor, Melissa Fuchser.
Only ever really working in customer service, Melissa explained that she “really enjoys actually helping customers, whether it’s solving an issue over the phone or just providing more knowledge – I get a sense of accomplishment which is really self-satisfying.” When asked what about working for Great Plains Communications is different from past customer services jobs she answered, “We are Nebraska based! Being from one of the towns we service, there are people/customers I grew up with and have known my whole life.”
When Melissa isn’t working, she enjoys all the outdoor activities Western Nebraska has to offer; from visiting Chadron State Park and Toadstool Geologic Park with her boyfriend Brandon, to fishing and hunting for arrowheads and morel mushrooms. She also enjoys time with her two “fur babies,” Bo and Alex, her fluffy cats.
I love the friendships that I have developed at GPC, everyone is so nice and I love putting a face to the name,” Melissa said. “I also really enjoy the fact that I have been able to grow in my position here and expand my knowledge of the Telecommunications industry and customer service.”
Back for the second year, Great Plains Communications is raising money for Operation Homefront. Starting on Veterans Day (November 11, 2017), we will share the graphic below on our Facebook page and will donate $1 for every like with a maximum of $1,000.
With the mission, “Build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities that they’ve worked so hard to protect,” Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization serving America’s military families. They strive to provide RELIEF through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs, which covers things from utility payments to food assistance or auto insurance. They look to provide RESILIENCY through permanent housing and caregiver support services, including two deeded houses to local Nebraska families this year. And they offer RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services, including backpack programs and their current partnership with Dollar Tree. Operation Homefront is in the process of providing holiday toys to military/veteran families across Nebraska through their partnership with Dollar Tree. The collection continues through December 7th at each of their store locations.
We are excited and honored to highlight an organization such as Operation Homefront for a second year. If you would like to learn more about them or current needs (e.g. provide a holiday meal for a military or wounded veteran family) go to http://www.operationhomefront.org/.
Carved pumpkins line the sidewalk, patiently waiting to greet your little Darth Vaders, unicorns and pirates alike, lighting the way through the festive night. The doorbell rings and an assortment of candy fills each bucket and bag. We are less than a week away, and there is more to plan than what shoes will look best and if there are enough treats to go around. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure everyone has a safe Halloween with some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.
Have a Safe Walking Plan: Children’s excitement level is often escalated on Halloween as they see the sweet potential in each house, no matter if it is across the street or down the block. Help them to remember to look left, right, and left once more before holding the hand of an adult and crossing the street. Also, don’t forget to put down any electronic devices as you cross, and choose spots further away from the street to stop and take pictures.
Find Creative Ways to Add Safety Precautions to Costumes: Have your kids use fun metallic stickers or reflective tape on their candy bags, it could be a fun way to personalize their goodies and help them be seen by passing drivers. Glow sticks could be another fun way to brighten up the nighttime walk!
Be a Cautious Driver: Just because you are not in costume, does not mean you are not a large factor in Halloween safety. As a driver, make sure to eliminate any distractions inside the car and be especially alert in residential areas. Allow extra time to look for kids between parked cars and at intersections. Typical trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., so buckle up and stay alert for all the little witches and skeletons walking the streets.
For more tips, check out the Safe Kids Worldwide website and remember that Great Plains Communications hopes you have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what creative safety tricks your family uses each year in the comments section on our Facebook page.