ELDO Kids Week

July 18-22, 2022

The week-long summer event was sponsored by Experience El Dorado, the YMCA and HF Sinclair and offered fun for the whole family.

“We had a great turnout for our events and are pleased with how this first Kids Week went,” said Javan Gonzalez, Destination Services Coordinator with the City of El Dorado’s Experience El Dorado. 

“Movie Monday” was held at Central 6 Cinema with a free showing of “Minions: The Rise Of Gru.”

High Fives for the Walnuts

“Baseball Tuesday” was at McDonald Stadium with a game between the El Dorado Walnuts versus the Winfield Moos and included games and activities.

Cooling off

“Swim Wednesday” offered a welcomed break from the heat with free swimming at the El Dorado Municipal Pool.

Learning and fun go hand in hand at the museum.

“Museum Thursday” at the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum included a host of educational activities.

“Friday Night Lights” rounded out the week at North Main Park with fun games and activities including the Splash Pads. 

“We couldn’t have provided all of these great, free events without the help and generosity of our partners, HF Sinclair and the YMCA,” said Gonzalez. “They were great to work with and helped put on a wonderful week for the kids in El Dorado. We want to thank everyone who volunteered, donated and attended the events.”

El Dorado Ambassadors Shine

Butler County Represented at Miss Kansas

Gorgeous weather in Pratt, last week, provided the perfect backdrop for Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss El Dorado (who serves the Miss America Organization as Miss Butler County); Suzannah Bowden, Miss Golden Road, (who serves as Miss Ruby Slippers); and Jordan Burford Miss Sunflower Fest, (who serves as Miss Heartland) to participate in the Miss Kansas Scholarship Competition.

Left to right: Suzannah Bowden, Sierra Marie Bonn and Jordan Burford

They were each awarded $1,500 for reaching the Miss Kansas stage. 

The week began as they checked in to Miss Kansas Week on Tuesday, June 7th and hit the ground running with a welcome ceremony that included the announcement of the Top 5 Finalists for the Social Impact Initiative (SII) Scholarship.

Social Impact Initiative Top 5 Finalists (from left to right) are Suzannah Bowden, Courtney Wages, Sierra Marie Bonn, Jetta Smith and Katelyn Andrist.

Congratulations are in order to Bonn who earned another $1,000 for her SII work on “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” and Bowden who earned another $500 for her SII work on “Mentoring the Next.”

They spent the first full day in rehearsals and meeting sponsors.  Wednesday brought more rehearsals, sponsor visits and the Private Interview portion of the competition.  During the interview with the judges they were able to share their heart and passion for their Community Service and the impact they have made through their SII.

Thursday brought another full day of rehearsals, sponsor visits and Preliminary Night One, which showcased the young women’s strengths on stage with Social Impact Pitch and On Stage Question, Talent Performance and Red Carpet Wear.  Each of the categories allowed the women to express their unique personal style and confidence in the Pratt Community College arena to a few hundred people. 

From left to right: Sierra Marie Bonn, Kennedy Bables, Kaydence Dawson, and Madelyn Olson.

Friday, June 10th brought another full day of rehearsals and Preliminary Night Two and the official check-in for our Sunflower Princesses. Kennedy Bables, Kaydence Dawson, Madelyn Olson and Juliana Burford represented El Dorado this year and their enthusiasm and encouragement was contagious as they cheered on the girls.

Juliana Buford joined her sister Jordan during Miss Kansas Week.

They started the day receiving their crowns and swag. They participated in mentoring sessions, a paint party, pizza party and ended their day by watching the girls on-stage. 

Sierra was awarded the $1,000 Esther Scholarship and earned another $750 in cash for her fundraising and recruiting work.

Sierra Marie Bonn signing autographs during an event prior to the parade.  Her costume and shoes promoted her social impact initiative “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” as well as highlighting the Kansas Tourism motto, “To The Stars”

Saturday is always filled with fun events and this year was no different.  First up was an autograph signing session followed by the Show Us Your Shoes parade downtown. 

Suzannah Bowden was dressed in a blue gingham with red rhinestone shoes to showcase her title of Miss Ruby Slippers.
Jordan Burford decorated her shoes and costume with butterflies to help bring awareness to her social impact initiative, “Raising Awareness For Child Loss”

The afternoon was filled with more rehearsals in preparation for the final competition while the Sunflowers had a skate party and tour of the Pratt County Historical Museum.

During Finals, the Sunflowers had their special runway show and a pajama viewing party. In total, Jordan, Suzannah and Sierra earned almost $8,000 in scholarships to continue their educational pursuits. 

Kaydance Dawson and Kennedy Bables in their Sunflower Princess crowns and t-shirts during the parade.

“The Miss El Dorado Ambassadors are so appreciative of the sponsors and supporters of the program.  Their support enables young women from our community to develop personal and professional skills, pursue their education and in turn, reinvest in our community through various initiatives and community service projects,” said Bonn.  

Please contact the Miss El Dorado Ambassadors to learn how you or your organization can help support the Miss El Dorado Ambassadors. 

Friends of the Library Book & Bake Sale

Semi-Annual Fundraiser

The Friends of the Library will be hosting their annual Book & Bake Sale, from Wednesday, April 27th – Saturday, April 30th at Bradford Memorial Library, downstairs in the Clymer Room. Hours are April 27th and 28th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  On April 29th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 30th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Books may be purchased for .50 cents per book or $7 per bag. 

The Book & Bake Sale is a semi-annual fundraiser held by the Friends of the Library group for the Bradford Memorial Library.  The Friends of the Library meet on the second Monday of every odd month. All meetings begin at noon in the Clymer Room. They provide financial support for library projects and special needs. If you would like more information about the Friends, call the library at 316-321-3363.

Police Chief Curt Zieman receives Patriot Award

City Commission Honors Zieman

El Dorado Police Chief Curt Zieman received the Patriot Award from the Kansas Committee of the Employer Support the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Monday evening at the El Dorado City Commission meeting.

Jim Wishart, with the ESGR, presented the award. 

Police Chief Curt Zieman (middle) receives the ESGR Patriot Award from Jim Wishart (left). Officer Brett Sanchez (right) nominated Zieman for the award.

“We work with the employer community, civic groups, and military groups, particularly, the Guard and Reserve,” he said. He explained they provide education and information to employers about time off for training and deployment, but what they like to do most is present awards. 

“We start with our most basic award,” Wishart continued, “which is our Patriot Award.”

Any member of the Guard or Reserves, or their spouse, can nominate an employer – particularly their boss – who makes it easy for them to wear their two hats. 

“They fill out a nomination form and list what it is that makes it particularly easy for them to be a citizen-soldier, as well as an employee,” Wishart said.

Zieman’s nomination was submitted by Officer Brett Sanchez, who just returned from his most recent deployment that day. Sanchez serves in the Air National Guard.

“He just makes it really easy for me to continue to be in the Guard and do that part of my life I enjoy,” Sanchez said. “If I get orders short notice or drills short notice or anything short notice, he doesn’t question it. It makes it very easy for me to do that.”

Sanchez also wrote on the nomination form that Zieman and the rest of the department keep in touch with his family while he is deployed to make sure everything is going alright for them, which is really appreciated.

The Patriot Award recognized Zieman for protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in the Guard and Reserves.

Butler County Legislative Coffee

El Dorado Chamber of Commerce hosts Butler County Farm Bureau Forum

On Saturday, March 5, 2022 the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce hosted a Legislative Coffee sponsored by the Butler County Farm Bureau Association. 

Listen to the conversation on the podcast channel here.

In attendance were District 12 Representative Doug Blex, District 75 Representative Will Carpenter and District 14 Senator Mike Fagg.  They spoke to Butler County residents about the work they are currently doing on their behalf and answered questions. 

Representative Blex represents House District 12 which spans parts of 5 counties; Mongomery(part), Chautauqua, Cowley, Butler and Elk.  Blex serves on the Health and Human Services Committee, is Vice-Chair of the Local Government Committee and is on the House Taxation Committee.

“I always enjoy the Farm Bureau forums,” said Representative Blex. “I feel like I get some really straight-shooting of what the issues are.”  

Before and after the panel discussion, voters had the opportunity to speak with their legislators.  Pictured is Miss Butler County Sierra Marie Bonn discussing issues with Representative Carpenter. 

Representative Will Carpenter represents House District 75 which serves the cities of Cassoday, El Dorado, Elbing, Potwin and Towanda and the townships of Chelsea, Clifford, El Dorado, Fairmount, Fairview, Lincoln, Milton, Murdock, Plum Grove, Prospect, Rosalia and SycamoreTowanda.

Representative Carpenter serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee and the Social Services Budget Committee, for which he is the Chair. 

“I enjoy hearing from the folks back home,” said Carpenter.  “They are my eyes and ears out there.”

The Legislators each shared about the work they are doing in Topeka and took questions from the audience. Pictured is Representative Doug Blex speaking.

Senator Mike Fagg represents Senate District 14 which covers 10 counties; Butler, Chautauqua, Coffey, Cowley, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Wilson and Woodson Counties.

Senator Fagg serves on the Agriculture/Natural Resources Committee, Ways and Means, Utilities, Financial Institutions/Insurance and serves as the Vice-Chair, Joint Committee for Education, Joint Committee for Mental Health, Sparks Sub-Committee for Modern and Efficiency.

“We had a lot of great questions,” said Fagg.  “The only thing I wish is that we would have more people here because we need to get everyone involved, everyone’s thoughts and ideas need to be heard.”

A small but passionate number of voters attended the Legislative Coffee.

Jeff Varner, Policy Chair for the Butler County Farm Bureau Association, said the event provided an opportunity for the public to visit with legislators.  

“It’s always amazing what you learn,” said Varner. “We have worked hard over the years to hold events like this and plan several more in the coming months.” 

“The whole purpose is to give the community a chance to talk to their representatives, see what is happening in Topeka,” said Phil Benedict, Executive Director of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce. 

“We hope to have more throughout the year as this is an election year,” said Benedict.

The next Butler County Farm Bureau Association Legislative Coffee is scheduled to be on Saturday, March 26 from 9-11a at the Augusta Train Depot in Augusta. Representative Kristy Williams and Senator Ty Masterson will be in attendance to share the work they are doing in Topeka and visit with voters.