Vision quest: Group looks back at over a decade of striving for progress

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By Molly Haines

Since 2002, Leadership Owen County and more recently the Owen County Visioneers, have strived to not only bring tourism to the community but to show Owen countians just how much it has to offer.
The “Living the Dream” event was held Thursday at the Owen County Extension Office. Those in attendance took the opportunity to walk “Success Boulevard,” which showcased the achievements of Leadership Owen County and the Owen County Visioneers with a timeline.
Since its inception in 2002, there have been six Leadership Owen County groups. The groups met monthly, March-Oct., visiting different locations correlating with topics like education and healthcare.
Approximately 150 people have participated in Leadership Owen County.
The timeline began in 2003 with the Owen County Farm & Craft Market. The market was the brainchild of the first Leadership Owen County group of 2002 and ended with the county park beautification, which is this year’s leadership project.
Visitors from Henry County and employees of the Kentucky River Authority and members of Franklin County’s tourism commission attended the showcase event.
Owen County’s Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Science Judy Hetterman said while other rural communities are working to build tourist attractions, events like Fan Fair are particular to Owen County.
“Other counties have picked up on the quilt trail,” Hetterman said. “The agricultural trail is very much true to Owen County and others have down downtown beautification, but in different ways.”
Owen County Visioneer Dave Jones said showcasing the achievements not only shows the accomplishments of the groups, but also shows that there’s still more to do.
“We were expecting more local people to come, but we were pleasantly surprised with the number of out-of-town folks that attended,” Jones said. “Some of the local folks that attended were some that I’d never seen at these events. We were pleased with the turnout.”
Hetterman said those in attendance were able to give feedback on what they would like to see continued and offer up their own suggestions.
“We felt that Thursday was a good showing on the impact of our leadership groups,” Hettermain said. “We’ve gotten a lot accomplished and we will continue to do so.”