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Commentary: ‘We’re from Chaska and no one could be prouder’
Feb 28, 2012 | 913 views | 2 2 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the things you will be hearing more about over the next few months is an effort by the city and Chaska High School called the “Pride of Chaska.”

The discussion will focus on the creation of a website,, which houses all that is available regarding the city and school. It will be a repository of services and information that will be made available to all members of our community.

This collaborative effort will share the many products and services available to our community, which reinforces the quality of our community and the school themselves. So look for more information on this effort.

Hats off to the city, high school representatives and community volunteers that have been involved in making this a reality. It is a step in building a stronger sense of community pride for all we call Chaska.

As we talk about building the Pride of Chaska, it is important to believe in the spirit of community. I know for some this may seem like a pretty flimsy discussion, the spirit of a community.

I do believe communities can, and some do, demonstrate the pride and spirit they have for the community.

When Money magazine came out to take a longer look at Chaska after we scored highly in a number of their “Best places to live” evaluation categories, they wanted to experience the sense of community. “Well what will you be looking for?” they were asked. “Don’t worry,” they said. “We will know when we come out there if we experience it.”

And they came out and found a strong sense of community. So to be sure, a spirit of community, the pride we have in our community, is real and exists and can be felt.

That too is a focus of the Pride of Chaska – to build an even stronger sense of community spirit and community pride. There are so many good stories and so many positive things to highlight and reflect on as it relates to Chaska High School and its students and staff, and for the community we call home.

Ask students who attend Chaska High School and they will tell you how they feel – positive and supportive of each other. That alone should be enough to excite us and make us proud.

Go out and talk with people who have experienced the support of others in the community and see how they feel about the spirit of community in Chaska.

Talk to members of our industrial business community about their investment in Chaska and how they feel about doing business in Chaska. Do we have challenges? Sure, but the response is that Chaska will respond.

Our downtown needs support, but committed people are working to improve downtown to be all it can be. What we can’t let happen is for negatives to overcome positives.

We can’t let idle observations negate positive progress in what our schools can and are accomplishing. We can’t let negative rumor-based discussions overcome how our students truly feel. We all must seize the opportunity to share and learn from the diversity of who we are, and be stronger and better because of that. The ability to share diverse perspectives and experiences frankly is a strength not a weakness.

We must work together, as is emphasized in the Pride of Chaska effort, to underscore those positives and celebrate those positives and say “We’re from Chaska and no one could be prouder.”

Our 161-year history and heritage as a true community is rich and deep. Our 107-year history as a high school is rich and deep.

As we reflect on that rich history, let us carry it into our future and build that sense of pride in who we are and what we stand for.

We are a strong and healthy community, and we have many things to be proud of: community centers; golf courses; parks and trails; quality city services; strong faith community; healthy industrial parks and tax base; community celebrations; Friday night band concerts; Chaska Cubs Amateur Baseball in a great, small-town ball park; low property taxes; outstanding natural resources; technology; below average utility rates; quality education system with quality educators who are builders of community; health and medical services; goods and retail services; safety and security; the commitment of all those that serve us; our high school; our sense of community; and the list goes on.

And again, do we have challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed? We do, just as every community does. But we can draw from that sense of community spirit and pride, and address challenges and opportunities together and become an even healthier place.

We cannot let the glass-half-empty view of the world overcome the positives. We cannot let those that find fault far too easily and far too often negate all the good our community stands for.

Rather, together we can support the Pride of Chaska effort and say this is our home, this is our school and we believe in what it stands for. We believe in our history and we want to support an even brighter future for all and we’re on board.

Let share this vision, let’s share these values and let’s share the pride!

Let’s build that sense of community pride and spirit and with our kids all say together, “We’re from Chaska and no one could be prouder and if you don’t believe it, we’ll yell a little louder!”

Bob Roepke is a former Chaska mayor.
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Dan D.
February 29, 2012
The website is designed to be the "gateway to all things Chaska."

There are many groups in Chaska trying to get their messages out to the community. We hope to become the go to resource to find those messages and provide links and access to the messengers.

The Pride of Chaska website is still in the building phase and I hope you will check it frequently to see it continue to become a truly unique tool for the entire community.
Downtown Resident
February 29, 2012
I also know of another effort to help support local businesses. It's called "Chaska Loves Local Businesses". Right now there is just a facebook page. I guess the effort it so allow Chaska residents to like the page then local Chaska businesses can post special offers and information just for those who like the page. It's a great way to get to know our neighbors and those local businesses that some didn't even know existed or forgot about. Here's the link.
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