It's not hard to notice 40 men running around in neon yellow t-shirts, especially in a community the size of Orchard.
It's also not hard to notice the impact already being made by the newly reorganized Orchard Young Men's Club.
It all started with a group of guys sitting around talking about the potential of the small Antelope County community - and just as importantly - that there's an incredible number of young families moving back to Orchard.
After months of discussion, Tate Heiss said the group tired of talking about what they could do and decided to set up a meeting for 7 p.m. that night. It was 2 p.m. then and with little notice, Heiss said he didn't know what to expect at the first meeting.
"Twenty-five to thirty guys showed up. And here we are," Heiss said.
That was July 7.
Just three weeks later, the Orchard Celebration Days were all abuzz about the new organization. Things fell into place quickly for the OYMC and members not only assisted with the annual celebration, but they even helped put in a fence and mats for the new preschool in Orchard.
"We just want to make an impact," Heiss said. "I remember what things were like in high school. Now as you drive around Orchard, some places have gone downhill and need cleaned up. Our ultimate goal is to get the support and funding for a community center - a place to hold our barbecue, wedding dances and things like that. I don't know if that's feasible and it might be 10 years down the line, but it's a goal."
Heiss said the OYMC has been talking quite a bit about the Neligh Young Men's Club organization and using the organization as a model. They NYMC organizes Old Mill Days, but Heiss said the Orchard Community Club does a great job with their celebration and the OYMC isn't looking to take it over. They simply want to help where ever needed.
Heiss said the organization is so new officers haven't even been elected yet. But because the organization existed in the past, they have a checking account already set up and are accepting donations for projects.
And ideas for projects. With about 40 men, the organization has the number to make progress quickly.
"We want to do more things like we did with the preschool," Heiss said. "We're young guys with strong backs. We want to show the community we're here to make it a better place."
Heiss, a 2001 Orchard graduate, moved back to the community to work as a grain merchandiser for Meuret Grain in Brunswick. He and his wife Kari (Havranek) have two children, Ellie, 3, and Zoey, 8 months.
The ag sector is responsible for the recent influx of families, Heiss said, quickly naming a half dozen families who've moved back to town in the last couple of years. Whether it's insurance, fertilizer, farming, marketing - everything is ag related.
Besides bringing families, they're building houses, mostly on the north edge of Orchard. While the community may be struggling to offer quality housing, it has plenty of land to offer. And families are making a commitment to the town by building homes.
"It's amazing how many babies and kids you see running around," Heiss said. "We're all pretty excited about the future of Orchard. We're all about supporting the town however we can and want people to suggest what projects need to happen around here."
To learn more about the OYMC, follow the organization on Facebook.
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