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Gowrie is home

Gowrie is home

-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
Chelsea Worrel is shown here with Gloria the Elf. Worrel was instrumental in getting Gloria to visit Gowrie each year, helping to bring focus on the city’s businesses.

GOWRIE — Chelsey Worrel isn’t just a resident of Gowrie. The 28-year-old is also a business owner and has taken the initiative to volunteer in order to help improve her community.

Worrel owns and operates Chelz Salon. She and her husband Glen have two children, Brantley and Lesley. The couple had no doubts that living in or near Gowrie was where they wanted to be.

“We talked about where we would end up,” said Worrel. “But we knew it would be the Gowrie area. We may not be in this house forever, but we will be within literally two or three miles of Gowrie. This is home and this is where we want to raise our kids. It’s a safe community. People are kind and helpful, and if you need something, they are going to step up and get it done. That’s the kind of community I want to raise my kids in.”

Getting involved

Currently, Worrel is a member of the Gowrie Development Commission (GDC). The mission of the GDC states they are a nonprofit, community-focused corporation, to strengthen the economy and community of Gowrie, and to serve its members. The GDC serves all current and prospective residents in the Gowrie community.

Worrel said she was asked to join the GDC because she was a business owner. She took that invitation as an opportunity to become more involved with the community. Learning what the GDC is all about was an eye-opener for her.

“As the GDC, we touch so many aspects of the community,” she said. “Our focus is we want to make Gowrie a place you want to come visit, play, live, work.”

“As a board member of the Gowrie Development Commission (GDC), Chelsey has really flourished and become a very strong community activist,” said Mindy Swieter, vice president of the GDC. “She has taken on leadership roles within various GDC sub-committees and has introduced and implemented many projects that have really helped bring our community together. It is so encouraging to see a young person take so much pride in her community and be willing to donate her time and energy to bring out that same feeling of pride in others.”

Worrel came up with the idea of a “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program. The program has evolved from simply assisting your neighbor to a social media platform used to look for help and share aspects about the community.

Worrel recommends people go to the Facebook page, share about the community and let people know if you need assistance with anything.

“When we started it, we were trying to create a group that could go around and help clean up the town — our parks and even people’s houses. If there are people that are unable to pick up their sticks, rake their leaves or whatever, we would be neighborly and help them,” she said. “But it’s evolved into a place to share some positivity around Gowrie. It’s also a place to go looking for help or assistance. We can’t do all of the work. We are only a few people, but there are always people willing to help. They just don’t know who needs it or what you need.”

Worrel is also an integral part of getting a special visitor to Gowrie each Christmas season.

Worrel worked with Santa Claus and the other folks at the North Pole to get Gloria the Elf to come spread Christmas cheer and business awareness each December.

“Gloria the Elf is an elf on the shelf that comes to businesses before Christmas time, and every day she visits a new business and helps to spotlight that business,” said Worrel. “It’s a fun way to spotlight our businesses, but also it’s free publicity for them. It’s a fun way to get the community to go search for Gloria, and if you can just get them to step their foot in the door, they might not know the product you have or the service you have. I coordinate with Santa every year to get Gloria to come to Gowrie and make her schedule.”

Worrel is excited for the growth that Gowrie has seen in just the past year, which includes five businesses either starting up new, operating under new owners or have made a move to a new location.

These, Worrel said, include Old Town Road Pub and Eatery; Addison James Boutique and Addison Potrait Studio, Foxtail Floral, Towne Veterinary and Market on Market.

“The grocery story speaks volumes about our town,” she said. “We come together and when we want something, we are going to get it done.”

More than just a small town

“One day somebody asked me about Gowrie. They said, ‘It’s just the small town south of Fort Dodge.’ I wrote down every business. You would be so surprised what we have for a small town,” she said.

“It’s unbelievable. We have a clinic and a pharmacy; care center, multiple hair salons and a barber; florist and greenhouse. We have two vets, a chiropractor, insurance agencies, a tax firm, restaurants, a cafe, a grocery store, gas stations, a dentist and shops — it’s everything. For a small town, there is so much here. We have the parks, swimming pool, a skating rink, golf course and our school district. Our schools are phenomenal. There are a lot of really large things you don’t think of. We really do have a lot in Gowrie. We are very, very lucky to have that.”

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