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Personal Kansas book builds relationships, connections

For former New Yorker-turned-Kansan Deb Woods, the Sunflower state might not have felt quite like home right away.

But former teacher Mary Mayer turned the page on that with a homemade scrapbook with detailed information about Kansas facts and history.

“I began working for Presbyterian Manor in March of this year,” said Deb. “I have met amazing residents and staff. Around June, I was gifted an amazing book all about Kansas and its wonderful history from one of our cottage residents, Mary.”

The book is filled with the rich and interesting history of Kansas, complete with pictures of iconic Kansas images - such as President Dwight Eisenhower, the University of Kansas Jayhawk, the state reptile - the Ornate Box Turtle, and the state capitol building in Topeka.

Before moving to Clay Center Presbyterian Manor, Mary lived in Independence, Kansas, and visited all the state capitols and all 105 Kansas County Courthouses. Before her retirement in 1993, Mary was a special education teacher in Hutchinson.

“My mom, husband, and I have been planning to visit some places in the scrapbook,” Deb said. “We have already visited Wamego, and Kansas City. I am truly excited to visit Mary’s hometown of Independence.”

The scrapbook was a thoughtful present, Deb said, and has made her feel welcome in Kansas, and at Clay Center Presbyterian Manor.

“I am beyond thankful for this gift,” she said. “The thought, time, and absolute details she included is priceless to me. The fact that at one time she did this scrapbooking for a student to have the history of Kansas, and then thought of me and put her words and pictures down for me to see is a true testament to the amazing person she is.”

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