Mary Bender retired 10 years ago, but there was one task that she continued to perform for Landmark Bank — until this summer.
Mary, a Great Bend resident, conducted her final bus trip for the bank on Aug. 12. A chartered bus took a group of season ticket holders to Music Theatre Wichita’s final 2017 season production, “Newsies.”
For 32 years, Mary answered the phones at a bank on Main Street in Great Bend. First it was known as Security State Bank, but later it was purchased by UMB Bank.
The bank started a travel club with Bender coordinating the trips.
“We did long trips in the spring and fall,” she recalled. “There were also mystery trips. People signed up and had no idea where they were going.”
When Landmark acquired the bank, Mary continued to coordinate the trips. And even when she retired in 2007 she continued to coordinate trips to Branson, Mo., and to Music Theatre Wichita. Since people bought season tickets to the theater, the faces on the bus were familiar ones.
“Everybody got to know each other. It was like traveling with your family,” Bender said.
With Mary retiring from her role as travel guide, Landmark isn’t planning any trips at present. However, there are some banks and associations that do.
It’s October, and that mean’s it’s time for spooky stories, costume parties and candy. If you have a child and need help putting together a costume, the Great Bend Public Library will hold its annual costume giveaway on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 1-3 p.m. On Oct. 23, Mike Westerman will appear as Edgar Allan Poe to give a 7:30 p.m. program at the Barton County Historical Society Museum.
Then Saturday, Oct. 28, the Great Bend Kiwanis Club will sponsor the annual Halloween Parade, starting at the Barton County Courthouse at 11 a.m., and Zoo Boo is from 5:30-8 p.m. that evening at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo.
I’d love to hear from readers about your Zoo Boo memories or your funniest Halloween costume. My email address is below or I’m on Twitter as @SusanThacker3; #GBFunnyHalloween; #GBZooBoo.
Susan Thacker is news editor of the Great Bend Tribune. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.