The members of Cascade’s Heart & Soul Committee have been a busy bunch over the past few months, collecting and categorizing information about what makes Cascade special through personal interviews, surveys and by asking for community input.
Their work is far from over, but the committee is hosting a pair of workshops at Cascade High School where they will show some of their progress thus far, and solicit further feedback from the community they represent.
The workshops will be presented Sunday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m., at Cascade High School. The events will feature refreshments and door prizes, and childcare will be provided, so community members can spend some time with their friends and neighbors helping Heart & Soul write the next chapter in the story of Cascade.
Shontele Orr, a committee member, explained the staggering days and times for the events.
“In offering two meetings we are hoping to have as many people come as possible. Our purpose at these meetings is to go over some of the data we have gathered thus far and then show everyone the value statements that have been created based on this data.”
The statements, according to Orr, are key. “Value statements will ultimately show us what makes Cascade unique and we will use these as guiding principles going forward when decisions need to be made in the future. These statements are created solely on feedback we have received from the public — they are what matters most to the community and we want to ensure we are hearing from everyone and getting it right.”
The Heart & Soul Committee has divided their work into phases, and are currently close to wrapping up Phase 2. “We’ve worked hard up to this point to share our goals with the community, reach out into the community and hear their stories and ideas,” said Molly Knuth, a committee member. “Our team synthesized and analyzed the data. We’re now prepared to share the stories we heard from individuals in our community and start asking if the themes we’ve extracted from these stories are in fact representative of us as the community of Cascade.”
In describing work yet to be done, Knuth said, “In Phases 3 and 4, we will work on finalizing our communities’ values statements, arranging action plans and partnerships to carry out some of the priorities of our research, and setting up a stewardship team to ensure that these values are visible and carry on long after the formal Heart & Soul program is wrapped up.”
Participation in either of the workshops and in future endeavors the committee undertakes, is strongly encouraged. “Our Cascade story is very strong,” Knuth added. “We had several commonalities in responses. Over and over we saw and heard the same things about our communities’ strengths, and over and over we saw and heard where we can make improvements for the betterment of our town and our people.”
Orr said that even people who may not have a lot to say are welcome and encouraged to attend. “Encouraging folks to attend is our number one goal… even if they just want to ‘listen’ that is OK too. We just want to get this right in the end, and need as much input as possible.”