Thumbs up
McPherson Main Street looking to reinvent plaza
We give thumbs up this week to plans from McPherson Main Street and the city of McPherson to revitalize the Main Street Plaza.
The plaza, located at Marlin and Main streets, can serve as the heart of downtown McPherson, and the suggestions being considered Monday should go a long way toward building a gathering place all can enjoy.
Suggestions include more shade, seating areas and sculptures.

Marquette      to get first Habitat house
The McPherson Area Habitat for Humanity is in the midst of building it’s first Habitat house in Marquette for a worthy family.
This will be the 26th home in McPherson county since the group’s inception in 1992.
This time, the Behanna family will be the next homeowners. Angela, a nurse, is a single mother of four children: Joseph, 16, Amanda, 12, Riley , 10, and Gabby 8. The family should be in the new, three-bedroom, ranch-style home in November.
The framework will be done July 22-27.

Construction    on museum    finished
Thumbs up to the completion of the construction of the McPherson Museum.
While the exhibits still need to be set up,  the actual work on building which will be the new home of the museum has been finalized, including the Hospitality Center, which will serve as the entrance to the museum.
This will include a small theater, a museum store, a catering kitchen and a Gathering Hall that can accommodate up to 100 people.
The Hospitality Center opening is set for at 2 p.m. Sept. 1, while the grand opening, including the exhibits is slated for Nov. 30.

Cyclist raises awareness of veteran suicide
Thumps up this week to Tom L’Italian, who is cycling across the country to raise awareness of veteran suicide.
The 63-year-old has embarked on a 48-day journey, which he calls the Suicide Responsibility Ride. L’Italian, who sits on the board of directors for the Team Veteran Foundation, is trying to raise awareness of the problem, which he says most people aren’t aware. According to the group’s website, veteran suicide occurs every 65 minutes.
L’Italian will be cycling 2,700 miles, finishing in Boston on Aug. 4.

Ulster Project teens aid lunch program
We give thumbs up to the teens of the Ulster Project, who recently collected money and packed food for the Summer Lunch Program.
The food program gives meals to local families who struggle to make ends meet during the summer. During the summer, paper bags filled with food are sent to families who rely on school meals during the school year to make ends meet.
The eight teens of Ulster Project will be helping out with the packaging of food for the next three weeks as they learn about the United States and try to come to a better understanding of their own cultural differences.

Demolition derby to      benefit Kaiden Schroeder
The drivers involved in this year’s demolition derby at the McPherson County Fair have come up with a unique way to benefit a McPherson family.
For a donation of $5, you can not only win a chance to drive a car during the derby on July 21, but also help benefit Kaiden Schroeder, an 8-year-old McPherson boy who is battling leukemia.  
The special, purple car has been on display at both Midway Motors and Wallace Chevrolet. If your ticket is chosen, you have the option of driving the Kaiden Schroeder car during the final heat of the demolition derby.
Special T-shirts are also available for purchase, as well, with all proceeds going toward Kaiden’s expense fund.

— Chris Swick for the McPherson Sentinel Editorial Board