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Chances are that you have seen the “Dolly Trolley Company” vehicle motoring around Great Bend this holiday season. The trolley is a gift donated to Rosewood Roots & Wings Foundation by benefactor Sheryl Cheely, in an effort to bring a new experience to the community.
Since last week, hourlong holiday lights tours have been offered during the evening, scheduled through RePerks Coffee Shop at 1216 Main Street in downtown Great Bend. Those tours will continue through the end of the year, with the exception of Sundays and holidays.
For Cheely, bringing a community trolley to Great Bend is a 15-year dream come true. She saw that the city of McPherson used its trolley to the point of now needing a replacement. She wanted the same community experience available to Great Bend.
"A trolley is different and fun for the community," explained Cheely. "It's fun to ride for the local people, as well as visitors to our area. McPherson has definitely used their trolley, and I know we will do the same. I see a lot of uses for it. There could be big uses for economic development, leadership groups, businesses, and events happening in the area. The trolley is an excellent way to have them see our city and show them what we have. It provides a better experience than simply putting them in a car and taking them around.”
Cheely was in search of a trolley for several years before she was alerted about one for sale at a small resort in the northern part of the United States. She made the purchase and the trolley was driven to Great Bend by resort staff. It arrived in mid-August needing repairs. Not to worry, however. Restoring the vehicle into Dolly Trolley became the responsibility of Rosewood Services’ automotive expert Gerald Hickman. He had it road ready in time for its holiday debut.
"The day that it arrived at the Rosewood Maintenance Building, I came by and looked at it," Cheely remembered. "I didn't introduce myself and I should have. I just walked around it a couple of times, probably with a really silly grin on my face. ... I actually met Gerald the other night when we took the first trolley ride and I thanked him for the opportunity. It was an exciting moment for me."
Cheely and several members of the ‘Santas Around The World’ committee took the trolley's first ride in the evening on Nov. 28. Cheely was originally scheduled to ride the trolley that evening as Grand Marshal during the ‘Home For The Holidays Parade,’ but the parade was canceled. Even without the excitement of a parade, her first trolley ride was a cherished experience.
"I'm feeling very, very happy right now," said Cheely as the trolley drove through downtown Great Bend with the city's illuminated store windows glowing in Christmas cheer. "I’m ecstatic; I feel just like a little kid at Christmastime."
That moment served as an emotional and personal experience for Cheely. Even the name, Dolly Trolley Company, bears the name of her mother, Dolly Aumiller. The trolley name also is fitting because Dolly is the nickname of Sheza Lady Principle, one of Rosewood Ranch's beloved therapy horses, who passed away more than a year ago.
"My mother was called Dolly her whole life from the time she was born," said Cheely. "She meant a lot to me and she would have loved something like this. It turns out that (Rosewood Services Executive Director) Tammy Hammond had one of her favorite horses that she nicknamed Dolly, so it became the Dolly Trolley."
Dolly Trolley rides quickly filled up for the holiday season when they were announced last week. People can still check availability for trolley rides daily on the RePerks Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/perkscoffeegb, in case of cancellations. Planning for Dolly Trolley rides in 2021 is in progress and opportunities will be announced to the public when they are finalized. Cheely said she is overjoyed about the community's response with the roll-out of the new trolley.
"It’s an exciting time in Great Bend,” said Cheely. “I have to thank Tammy (Hammond) to start with for accepting the trolley and working with me to get it ready. I think that the Roots & Wings Foundation will be a great place for it. Gerald has been absolutely wonderful doing the work on it. Everything about the trolley works great and it looks amazing."
For more information, contact Michael Dawes, Rosewood Services Director of Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 620-792-2536.
December 22, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of public relations, Rosewood Services, 620-792-2536, MichaelD@rosewoodservices.com