Established in 2004, the Guppies, Glen Ullin People Promoting Interest & Events, had been born out of an idea to better serve the Glen Ullin community. Co-founders Nancy Bittner and Karen Emter had the initial idea to start a community business club and from there, bylaws were drawn up. The club meets on every third Wednesday of the month, and members pay $20.00 per year for dues and some of the businesses are asked to pay the same amount.
Emter boasts about the many different events held annually throughout the years to raise money, “At Christmas time, we have a Holiday Bazaar and in the spring we have a meal for the community: German suppers, soup and sandwich meals. We had businesses, including Dakota Community Bank & Trust, buy flags to hang on the street, we purchased flower barrel planters to set in front of business, which we fill with flowers each year.”
Their first big project as a new business club was to tackle the local city park. With the approval of the city council, they had Dakota Community Bank & Trust donate four big brick planters and partial funds for a shelter. They built a smaller shelter with a picnic table in it, planted evergreen trees, many bushes and brought a ton of gravel in with a cement border around that area for weed control. Emter mentioned how, “Each member is responsible for watering the flowers and bushes in the park, and at Christmas time we display many Christmas lights for the enjoyment of all the community.”
The Guppies also built another shelter a few years ago. Again, Dakota Community Bank & Trust as well as other local businesses donated money for the construction of the shelter. “Whenever we have a new project and need help, Dakota Community Bank & Trust is always willing to sponsor our organization,” says Emter. With community involvement as their mission, Emter went on to list a wide array of other projects the Guppies have completed including renovation of a shelter across the street from the city park, and holding an annual holiday bazaar in which they raise funds to continue their community service.
Heading into their 16th year as a club, the Guppies are still thriving. Emter concludes “We have such a good reputation within the community.” For more information on the city of Glen Ullin, visit: http://cityofglenullin.yolasite.com/.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director