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8 Wonders of Kansas

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Frequently Asked Questions

WHY 8 WONDERS, INSTEAD OF 7?
Though it was the updating of the 7 Wonders of the World that started this modern day craze of choosing 7 Wonders from a multitude of different regions, the decision to find the 8 Wonders of Kansas was recognition of the 8 rural culture elements used since 1993 by the Kansas Sampler Foundation to identify tourism assets of a community.

WHAT ARE THE 8 RURAL CULTURE ELEMENTS?
The Kansas Sampler Foundation has identified architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people as something that every town has or has a story to tell about and everything in a town fits into one of these categories.

WHAT DO I DO IF I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE FINALISTS?
Just click on the small picture on the opening page of any finalist and it will take you to a description, more photos, and often a web site link.  The best way to get to know more about a finalist is go visit it!

HOW DO I VOTE AND WHEN?

Each e-mail address is eligible to vote three times (our super security system will throw out any votes registered beyond the approved number of voting times). You must vote for 8 places each time you vote or the votes won't count. We suggest that you help family and friends that don't have e-mail vote on your e-mail address.  Voting for the 8 Wonders of Kansas People will begin September 9 at 1:30 p.m. and end October 22 at midnight.  Paper ballots must be postmarked by October 22 to count.

WHAT IF PEOPLE CAN'T VOTE BY E-MAIL?
We'd ask for non e-mailers to do their best to find a friend or family member that could vote for them online at 8wonders.org. If not, call 620.585.2374 and leave your mailing address, or ask at a FINALIST site for a ballot. Paper ballots must be signed with address, city, and state, and 8 places must be checked.

WHEN WILL THE 8 WONDERS OF KANSAS PEOPLE BE ANNOUNCED?
The top 8 for People will be announced either October 27 or 28. 

HOW ARE THE 8 WONDERS DETERMINED?
The 8 Wonders of Kansas History will be 100% determined by popular vote.

HOW WERE THE 24 FINALISTS DETERMINED?
A combination of public nominations and knowledge and research of the Selection Committee determined the 24 finalists. None of the winners of the original 8 Wonders of Kansas have been eligible for future element contests. For instance, St. Fidelis (Cathedral of the Plains) was one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas so they were not eligible for the "element" contest Architecture.  However, the 16 runners-up have been automatic finalists in the those contests.

WHAT WAS THE CRITERIA FOR PEOPLE TO BE SELECTED?
See the criteria.

WHO THOUGHT OF THIS IDEA?
Von Rothenberger, Kansas Explorer #8, approached the Kansas Sampler Foundation about Kansas being involved in the craze to determine the 7 Wonders of a specific geographic place. The Kansas Sampler Foundation suggested that we recognize the 8 elements of rural culture and find the 8 Wonders of Kansas--and then do a contest for each of the 8 elements: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people!

HISTORY OF THE CONTEST
The 8 Wonders of Kansas contest series is a perfect project to fulfill one of the Kansas Sampler Foundation's objectives of educating Kansans about Kansas.  In the end, we're literally educating the world.   

Every contest begins with public nominations followed by a selection committee choosing 24 finalists from the public nominations.  In June 2007, the list of 24 finalists was announced for the overall 8 Wonders of Kansas.  Voting ended in December of that year and on January 29, 2008, Governor Kathleen Sebelius announced the top 8 in a Kansas Day ceremony at in the state capitol rotunda.  Since then, in alphabetical order, we've done a 4-month contest cycle for each of the 8 rural culture elements (architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people).  As of September, we've completed contests for Architecture, Art, Commerce, Cuisine, Customs, Geography, and History.  The People contest will start September 9.

The most numbers of votes were 19,000+ in the History contest.  In each contest there have been votes from every state and some several foreign countries.

This is a one-time contest series.  It's one for the ages and will be looked upon with historical interest as the years go by.

CONTEST GOALS
The goals of the contest are to educate the world about what there is to see and do in Kansas and to encourage travel in Kansas!

WHO IS THE SELECTION COMMITTEE FOR PEOPLE?
Leo Oliva, Woodston; Julie Mulvihill, Perry; Dave Webb, Protection; Ellen Morgan, Salina; Von Rothenberger, Osborne; Shelia Lampe, Piqua; WenDee LaPlant and Marci Penner, Inman.

WHO IS THE KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION?
The Kansas Sampler Foundation is a public non-profit whose mission is to preserve, sustain, and grow rural culture. Find out more at www.kansassampler.org. The Foundation was founded by Mil Penner and daughter Marci Penner in 1993. The offices are located on a farm near Inman.

WHAT IS THE KANSAS EXPLORERS CLUB?
The Kansas Explorers Club is a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation and was created to inspire, educate, and encourage the exploration and appreciation of Kansas...and to have fun doing it. The main benefit is a bimonthly membership newsletter that helps Explorers see Kansas with new eyes! Go to explorekansas.org to learn more or e-mail wendee@explorekansas.org for a sample newsletter.

HOW DO I CONTACT 8 WONDERS?
If you have a question e-mail marci@kansassampler.org.