Author: Richelle Bruch, Christians Team Keller Williams Realty
Whenever I am asked what community means to me, I always give a one-word response: “Togetherness.” This is a word I feel can be defined in so many different ways; it allows for one’s own interpretation.
“Togetherness” in a community can be seen at a Friday Night football game. When the local businesses hold tailgating events before the game. Walking through the crowds saying “Hi!” to your neighbors down the road as you find your seat on the bleachers. The electric energy in the air of the first home game of the season.
You can see it when the leaves start to change, the cold weather arrives, and Halloween creeps in. You can sense the community all around as children are running from door to door hoping to get their favorite candies, and the parents walk behind them chatting with each other. You can see it at the indoor Family Fall Blast trick-or-treating event held at the Community Center, or when the high school kids put on the Chamber’s annual haunted house.
Community can be felt at any charitable event that happens. The Festival of Trees that raises thousands of dollars for the local area Hospice. Any one of the businesses that hold fundraisers for a community member in need. All the friends, families, and even strangers that come together to help someone out.
Rally Point comes alive with “togetherness” during the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. While the kids gather around the Mayor of Sturgis reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, you can feel the holiday cheer and excitement in the air.
My favorite expression of “togetherness” comes during any one of the retailers’ meetings that happen once a month in Sturgis. During these meetings, the business owners share ideas to keep our valued members of the community in town without fear of losing customers to other businesses.
Speaking of the local shops and stores in town – at any one of the many you can have a great conversation with a neighbor or an old friend you haven’t seen for awhile. Friends find their way downtown checking out the local stores, walking Main Street in hopes of finding their next treasures, and stopping into one of the local restaurants to rest and fill up.
The warm summer nights bring one of the most energetic senses of “togetherness” in our little town. It can be heard on Wednesday nights when downtown is busy with bikes, music, and children running around. When the food trucks are serving their best products and the people of Sturgis are out enjoying the warmth of the summer nights.
You cannot describe what a community is without describing what a community does to bring each other together. This is what defines it. Sturgis has been a community for hundreds of years. Now is the time to relish and cherish all that Sturgis has to offer, but also get a thrill of excitement for what Sturgis has to come. Community is the life and breath of a town. It is the soul of a city.
Richelle Bruch is a community advocate, mother, and wife. She manages the Sturgis Farmers Market and “More to Sturgis” Facebook page in addition to her role as an agent with Christians Team, Keller Williams.