LMC offering free class tuition

Leadership Marion County wants to do its part in building a better local future by offering free tuition to this year?s class participants.

In addition to waiving the costs, the LMC board of directors is extending the application deadline until Feb. 10, said Cheri Bentz, president.

?We are hoping some businesses, organizations or individuals unable to sponsor someone because of the cost will now reconsider,? she said.

The board also is asking for a firm commitment by participants to attend all nine classes, which begin in February.

LMC is a county-wide program designed to help participants build and strengthen their leadership skills while, at the same time, learning more about Marion County.

Class topics as diverse as business, education, agriculture, economics and government will help shape class member’s in their personal and professional development, Bentz said.

Class schedule

During the five-months of classes, participants will visit Florence, Burns, Topeka, Goessel, Marion, Lincolnville, Hillsboro, Tampa and Peabody.

The first class, is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 17 at Morning Star Ranch in Florence.

?This is our second year at the ranch,? Bentz said, ?offering participants a variety of team building activities.?

Burns Community Center will be the site of storytelling from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 3.

?Storytelling helps people work better together,? she said.

The group will leave at 7 a.m. March 17 for Topeka to visit the Capitol and other state agencies.

While at Tampa Senior Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 7, participants will learn about ?visioning,? which focuses on how effective groups work towards a unified vision.

Two weeks later, on April 21, class members will be introduced to some department heads at the Marion County Court?house.

Bentz said participants also will study what it takes to bring a group out of chaos to be more effective, leading to work better as a team and making decisions that benefit the entire group.

Empowering others is the highlight May 8 at Goessel Community Center.

The board also is planning a tour of eastern Marion County businesses on May 19.

?The purpose of the tour is to help the group become more familiar with Marion County,? Bentz said.

Evaluating one?s strengths, passions, goals and values is the topic scheduled for June 2 in Hillsboro. The final meeting, June 16, will be at Lincolnville Community Center with emphasis on facilitation.

LMC graduates will be able to celebrate their successes June 26 and they will leave better equipped to shoulder important leadership responsibilities in their private and professional lives, Bentz said.

Graduates also are given an opportunity to help shape future LMC programs, along with taking their place on any number of leadership positions.

The benefits of the LMC program are as diverse as the people who participate, Bentz said.

In addition to learning more about the county, graduates gain better communication skills, creativity, exposure to future trends and expanding their thought processes.

In 2009, the program received a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.

?The board wanted to use the money to pay the tuition so that the program could continue its mission of developing leaders,? she said.

The first LMC group met in 1989 with participants traveling to neighboring towns to learn more about them. In recent years, the idea took hold for promoting servant leadership within a more structured environment.

For more information about the program, call Bentz at 785-366-0454 or write Leadership Marion County, 3456 Limestone, Tampa, KS 67483.

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