56

THE KANSAS LIFELINE

July 2018

group of eight public works

employees from the city of

Hutchinson held down a table in

the Expo Hall on Tuesday afternoon as

they waited for the opening nite Meet &

Greet to begin.

What’s the best part of the conference?

“The free stuff!” they said in unison,

noting that some of this year’s top

giveaways included a small flashlight on

a telescoping pole, ball caps, and some

quick-absorbing lotion that is a favorite

of their families. 

It is also, said Lonnie Dale, who works

in the city’s sewer department, “the

knowledge that you are able to get here.”

“I learned a whole lot today, and it’s

just the first day,” he said. 

_______

John and Dawnas Gorentz came to the

conference from Arma, where John is the

director of public works for the city.

“I come to get my certification hours,

and to see what’s new, if anything, in the

30 years I’ve been doing this,” John said.

“It’s my spring break,” Dawnas said,

who has accompanied John for the last

several years. 

They enjoy the programming and the

relationships, they said, as well as the

opportunity to load up on giveaways in

the Expo Hall.

“When I go home, I’ll be the Easter

Bunny,” John said, lifting his heavy tote

bag and smiling.

_______

Carolyn Lamborn, customer service

manager for Crawford RWD 5 in

Pittsburg, snagged the first spot in line

for the Tuesday night opening reception

– a line of more than 1,200 people that

stretched all the way through the

building to the back of EXPO Hall. 

Lamborn, recovering from recent

knee replacement surgery, occupied a

folding chair while she waited for the

reception to open. 

This was her third year to attend the

conference, which she found useful for

new information.

“I’ll be attending sessions on

bookkeeping, to learn the new things

that are coming, and about the new

laws that have been passed,” she said.

“And I also come for all the fun.” 

_______

By Thursday morning, Bill and

Nancy Huss had found a comfortable

spot to sit in EXPO Hall as they waited

for the closing noon luncheon.

Bill Huss, chairman of the board of

Doniphan RWD 5, said he appreciated

the effort that went into designing and

carrying out the conference each year.

“I don’t think people realize the

amount of planning and work that goes

into this by the KRWA board of

directors and the staff,” he said.

In addition to the scheduled

educational sessions, he said, there was

power in networking.

“You can learn a lot just sitting and

talking to people from other districts,”

he said.

Nancy has accompanied Bill for

several years. This year she took part in

the Spouse Program, where women

joined together for an afternoon of

painting a colorful canvas while

enjoying treats like chocolate covered

strawberries and wine.

“My ‘Picasso’ is in the car, ready to

go home,” she said. “Everybody’s

painting was different, and even though

we had the same directions, everyone

went a different way.”

A

Networking, education, and the “Easter Bunny”

There’s Something for Everyone at the

KRWA Conference & Exhibition