Leonberger puppies

Cedar House raised Leonberger puppies, donating them to nonprofits to use as therapy dogs. From left are Laney Freeman of Fort Worth, Texas, Patti O'Malley, and Cindy Freeman of Denver, Colo. The puppy project is part of the nomination of Cedar House as Kansas' nomination for Reader Digest's 'The Nicest Place in America.'

One of the nicest places in Kansas is located in Abilene, according to a panel of judges with Reader's Digest.

Cedar House was named Kansas’ nominee in the 2019 'Nicest Places in America' 2019 Reader’s Digest contest.

"Living in the Nicest Place in America means you live in communities that are committed to kindness, trust and health. Life extension is the health solutions expert that is translating scientific research into everyday insights for people wanting to live their healthiest lives. Together, we're looking for the community health heroes who are committed to supporting and inspiring communities to live a happier, healthier life," Reader's Digest said on its web page in announcing "The 50th Nicest Places in America."

The announcement was made on Friday.

Reader's Digest tells the story of Patti O'Malley and the creation of the rehab center at Cedar House.

"It is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time," O'Malley said. "This has been a long six years of a lot of people saying it can't be done. This is some affirmation for all those years. We have made progress and the hope is that now we can do more to help more women.

"Now we can use this to help more women," she said. "There is more need and this will help us fill it."

The nomination reads:

"O'Malley built herself a new home while turning what would become Cedar House into a six-bed facility that focuses on hope, healing, and giving back to the surrounding community of Abilene, a rural town of some 7,000, famous for being the childhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"Cedar House now boasts a local food bank and a micro-farm with a greenhouse, which delights locals with its exotic flora."

"They have brought things to Kansas that most have never tried to grow," says resident Loressa Nordgren, who nominated Cedar House. "They grow banana plants and loofahs that you use when you shower."

"Over the next month, America will vote on which of our 49 finalists (Texas and Arkansas share one) will be named the Nicest Place in America and put on the cover of the November issue Jeremy Greenfield of Reader's Digest said in an email. "Our recommendation is that organize a voting campaign."

Voting can be done at https://www.rd.com/nicestplaces/the-nicest-place-in-kansas-cedar-house-in-abilene.

A link can be found at Abilene-rc.com.

"We need the community to make it to the cover of Reader's Digest in November," O'Malley said.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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