Kansas Sampler

2016 We Kan! Awards announced...

The 24th annual We Kan! awards were announced May 7, 2016 at the Kansas Sampler...

27th Kansas Sampler Festival is ...

More than 8,200 people came to enjoy the weather-shortened version of the 27th ...

Popular Statewide Festival Comin...

The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced today that the long-time Kansas Sampler...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Kansas Sampler Festival

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 2016 Kansas Sampler Festival will be held on May 7-8 in Winfield at Island Park.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!



Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

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Highlights of Kansas Sampler Foundation's 2008

The mission of the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation is to preserve and sustain rural culture by educating Kansans about Kansas and networking and supporting rural communities.

The staff of Marci Penner and WenDee LaPlant, with assistance from ultimate volunteer Verna Lee Penner, work daily to achieve the mission.

2008 highlights:

v   Governor Sebelius announced the 8 Wonders of Kansas winners at state capitol on Kansas Day, January 29.

v   Completed 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture and Art contests. Commerce contest is underway.

v   Hosted 19th annual Kansas Sampler Festival in Concordia.

v   Leavenworth was chosen to host festival in 2010-2011

v   Launched new web site and also started "Get Kansas" blog.

v   Testified numerous times in Topeka on behalf of the Kansas Tourism Initiative.

v   Worked with state tourism office to launch Rural Kansas Tourism Initiative.

v   Received two marketing awards from the Travel Industry Association of Kansas for the 8 Wonders of Kansas and the "Bring Your Own Lawn Chair" projects.

v   Maintained 1,800 memberships in Kansas Explorers Club which includes writing newsletters, sending e-blasts, and hosting activities.

v   First year for "Bring Your Own Lawn Chair" series (an up-close view of issues and opportunities in small towns) in Glasco, Stark, Morland, and Dexter

v   Small grocery store summit at Kansas Sampler Center hosted in partnership with K-State's Center for Engagement and Community.

v   Wrote newsletters, sent e-blasts, and maintained 250 We Kan! memberships, plus 200 media.

v   Facilitated 16th annual Retreat for Rural Leaders, Valley Falls

v   Spoke at Oklahoma's state tourism conference to help them start their own version of the Kansas Sampler Festival.

v   Made speeches, did slide shows and game shows at many annual meetings and conferences; and facilitated retreats.

v   Starting to work on a fundraising campaign.

v   Involved on steering committee to look at Inman's future.

Marci and WenDee are conveners for Kansas Dialogue; WenDee is on the High Plains Public Radio board; Marci is advisor to Sunflower Journeys and on the Kansas Barn Alliance and Travel Industry Association of Kansas boards.

Mil Penner continues to be a source of inspiration and counsel. Board members are John and Debbie Divine, Salina; Gene Merry, Burlington; Lynda Fort, Ulysses; Shelia Lampe, Piqua; and Ellen Morgan, Salina.