Board Member, Dawn Hampton, on Rural Communities

By Megan England

Dawn Hampton is a Great Plains girl, and has been for most of her life. A resident of Atwood, Kansas, Dawn, an accountant, and her husband, Jim–a pharmacist–are the owners of Currier Drug, Inc. and Bison Rx Compounding and Therapy. Dawn is also an active member of OC’s Board.

Dawn (second from left) sharing breakfast with OC visitors in mid- August
Dawn (second from left) sharing breakfast with OC visitors in mid- August

Dawn and Jim found their way to a rural community after Jim grew tired of working for a chain pharmaceutical company. They wanted to own their own business, and after looking at the options, Dawn said they “knew a smaller community was a better option for our family.” They discovered the Atwood area through a college friend, and the rest is history.

Dawn’s passion for small towns is evident when she talks about how she connected with Ogallala Commons. When the Hamptons moved to Atwood, the county had a population just over 3,000 and it was declining. Dawn wondered what they had done with their move, because as a Great Plains native, she’s seen a number of small towns fading into history. That didn’t stop them, however, and Dawn says she often thought “someone out there has to have a solution!”

Around 11 years ago, a group of people in Dawn’s hometown found a solution in the form of a newspaper article about an event in Burlington, CO (OC’s Leadership Summit in August 2004). Dawn and others got together and went to the event, where they met Ogallala Commons and began forming a partnership that has led to many benefits for their community, Ogallala Commons, and Dawn personally. Dawn loves going to other OC partner communities to see what they are doing, and OC provides encouragement for what can sometimes be a thankless job of running a business in a rural community.

“Rural communities are just as important as urban ones,” Dawn says, “We put food on people’s plates… and [Jim and I] are providing healthcare, part of that cog of keeping our community healthy.”

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