Recently, I posed a question to those who follow the Anthony Around Town Facebook page. “What was the most important event of your life?” Now, I’m sure there are many significant moments you could look back to from your journey and classify them as “important,” but what’s that one big moment in your story? How would I answer this question? Well, I remember a time when I first moved to Elko, around seven years ago. It was a normal day, nothing earth-shattering to report of. However, somehow, I made my way to the Western part of the town and into an old building by the side of the road. Once inside, my heart began to pound. Some of my senses were firing at the hight of their ability. What was I seeing in this place? The sights were lovely! What was I smelling in this place? The aroma was haunting! What was I hearing in this place? The sounds were of joy and pleasantry! And finally, I met it face to face. I held it in my hands; it was warm and welcoming. It met my lips; it was almost hypnotic. My life changed during that encounter…from that moment on, I would never be the same man again. And that was my experience of eating a burrito at 9-Beans and a Burrito for the first time. Hmm, now that I think about it, I guess I could have picked another event when talking about which was most “important.” However, still, that was one gosh darn good burrito!
This week, I had the privilege of having coffee with Tera Hooiman. Along with serving on the city planning commission, Tera is the owner of The Event Source, a local business which looks to help many people in our community find success in putting on all types of events, big and small! However, Tera was not the first owner of this awesome Elko resource. The Event Source has been around for some time! How did it fall into Tera’s hands? Let’s ask her! “I’m actually a seventh generation native Elko Nevadan; we have deep roots here. My mom has been a teacher for forty-eight years, my father was a business owner, my uncle was mayor. I got married in 2006 to my husband Eric, and we have two kids together Alana (11) and Drake (8). I love being a mom and I love being a wife; they are my “why.” And my business allows me to be a mom first. So, I’m blessed with the aspect of being a business owner, for sure. The Event Source itself has been in Elko now for thirty-five years. It was the brainchild of John Ellison. He originally started Event Source to sort cater to his political growth, to have a venue of tables and chairs as people came through town.” The business eventually made its way through a few different owners, over the years, before Tera took it over in 2006! “We’ve had it now for four and a half years! I think the biggest blessing for me is to be a service to the community. Everyone has birthday parties, everyone needs an event resource. From a small business expo to an onsite wedding on a ranch somewhere. It used to be just tables, chairs, linens, that sort of thing, but have expanded it into something that caters to families. We started the indoor location over at the Elko Junction Shopping center with a mutual business interest, just realizing that there isn’t a lot for kids around town. So, we set up bounce houses, popcorn, and cotton candy machines, and opened it up to the public. We only have it (the indoor location) until the 18th of March, but we are looking for a permanent home. But we know that’s something Elko desperately needs for families. We want to be part of families growing together.”
Tera and The Event Source are involved with a lot of really great local events such as running the Family Stage at the Elko County Fair and their Touch-a-Truck event which allows families to get up close and personal with some cool rigs! It’s great having someone who cares so much about getting people out and about, in our midst. That being said, Tera has a big event ahead of her when it comes to her business…looking for a home for Event Source! “We’ll be out of our indoor location on March 18th, which I’m super sad about! We’re looking for that perfect place. We need something that relatively large so we can accommodate a wedding, birthday party, or MSHA training. We have lots of realtors in town looking for us! If it comes the time that we have to build something, that’ll be the last resort; we don’t have five million dollars to put in right now. It’s definitely a challenge” Hopefully, something comes up for them! Let’s keep our eyes open, Elko!
From a big community-wide festivity to a small gathering which only needs three tables, Tera estimates that she and her team have assisted in over eight hundred events in her time with the business over the last four years! That’s a lot of hours setting up chairs! What has Tera learned about being in the Elko event business over this time? “I feel like Elko is truly about building fostering relationships with people. Whether it’s someone you’ve known your whole life for someone who has just moved here. Everyone has a story. Every person has their own background and something they can bring to the table. I feel like Elko is the melting pot of the new and the old. My roots are here, but I also see the progression Elko has made in ways of business, and connections, and growth. Elko is definitely its own little animal but it’s about relationships. If people can be open and receptive to what’s going on in others lives, they will be able to establish roots in a place where they can be loved.” And for Tera, her family, and her business’ commitment to our area? “We’re not going anywhere. Seven generations is a long time. Our roots run deep. We have the resources to do great things and if we can learn to exist and love together, everyone can win.”
Events shape who we are. Big our small, they play a huge part in who we are as a community. Thank you, Tera, for seeing the value in all the awesome things that go on around our amazing little city. Partying wouldn’t be the same without you!
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See you at the party, Elko!