Rita Kail

‘You think of it as home’

-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson Rita Kail, of Farnhamville, displays a quilt she’s working on that will be donated to the Farnhamville Betterment Building Committee. The quilt will become part of a fundraiser for the group.

FARNHAMVILLE — Rita Kail has not only been a resident of Farnhamville her entire life, but also has taken the time to serve the city for many years as well.

“You think of it as home,” said Kail. “The beauty of a small town is the caring of each other, the knowing of your neighbors. Even though times have changed, if you see a neighbor in need, you’re still going to help them.”

Helping neighbors can be done in several ways, including improvements to their neighborhood.

Kail helped the city apply for and receive a grant from Calhoun County Economic Development.

“These grants you can apply for up to $5,000 and also matching funds, and I applied for and received one for the Farnhamville Betterment Club for new basketball hoops for our city park,” said Kail.

In conjunction with new basketball hoops, Kail said the city of Farnhamville has decided to replace the cement on the basketball court.

“That will be a very nice addition,” she said. “The park is used a lot. There are kids on the basketball court every day.”

Keeping the park in nice shape is very important to Kail.

“We have a lot of youth in our town and if we want them to enjoy it, and be happy, we need to provide them activities to do,” she said.

Old Settlers’ Day

For the second year, Kail is co-chairing the Old Settlers’ Day event with Shari Everhart.

Planned for Aug. 12, Old Settlers’ Day is a long-time celebration for the city of Farnhamville.

“It goes way back in history,” she said. “It used to be Old Soldiers Picnic that honored veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish American War. It was just important to have a day people could come to town and celebrate together.”

Kail said Old Settlers’ Day was stopped for a period during World War II, but began back up thereafter and has been held ever since.

“It’s a fun day, a lot of work, but a fun day,” she said. “It’s an important family day. There is a parade, and we try to have activities for families including games for the kids and this year we will have a bouncy house and a slide and we are bringing back a state-sanctioned kiddie tractor pull.”

In order to help bring a crowd to Farnhamville that day and have people participate, Kail and Everhart have been working on sending out hand-written thank yous and invitations with pictures from last year’s event.

“I think the personal touch is important,” said Kail. “We are thanking them for participating last year and inviting them back this year.”

Kail said they are hoping someone else will step up and take over the planning of Old Settlers’ Day in 2018, adding they are here to help.

Serving Farnhamville

Kail has been serving on the Farnhamville City Council for two years now.

“I was asked if I would consider serving. I put some thought into it and I felt it was my civic duty to serve,” she said. “Others have put in their time and I thought it was something that I could do to contribute.”

Kail helps to serve Farnhamville with her talents as well.

Last year she donated a quilt to the American Legion Post 510 that was raffled off for a fundraiser and she is working on another quilt to donate, only this time to the Farnhamville Betterment Building Committee.

“This year, I am donating a quilt from the late 1930s that was found, that features ladies from Farnhamville that embroidered their name along with a flower,” said Kail.

Kail added that she has done some research about the names on the quilt, but is coming up short for information.

Kail is also a member of the Farnhamville Better Committee and the American Legion Auxiliary in Farnhamville.

Some years back, Kail said she put up a barn quilt at the post office that she is planning on sprucing up this year.

That act, led to others wanting to help beautify the city and others followed by putting up barn quilts as well.

“I just think you need to instigate projects in your town, to keep your town alive,” she said. “With a little town, you have to think of things.”

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