Duo's family, civic roots run deep.
Name: Darin and Kail Harbick, both 34, of Rainbow, between Blue River and McKenzie Bridge
Claim to fame: Co-owners of Harbick's Country Store; Darin, manager, is a member of the McKenzie School Board and the chamber of commerce; Kail, a real estate agent, runs the Mrs. Oregon United States Pageant, a 3-year-old competition that leads to a national event in Las Vegas
Family: Harbicks have lived in the area since the 1930s. Darin and Kail met in eighth grade at McKenzie High School, and married in 1989. Kids: Tyler, 13; Trey, 11; Taya, 9.
Life's Rich Pageant: No one from Oregon has brought home the national crown during Kail's tenure, but many won something better - improved self-esteem. "I like to see the women before they enter a pageant," Kail said. "Six months later I get a phone call about how they are more disciplined in the fitness area, they have more polish and more self-esteem and confidence."
Save sports: McKenzie schools face the same money problems plaguing schools across the state, Darin said, but there's one area he's determined not to cut: extracurricular activities. Sports are important, Darin said, "especially in a small school district like ours, where the kids do not have the ability to go to town all the time, watch a movie and hang out."
Change in the valley: The Harbicks say rising property values make it tough for first-time homeowners with families to buy in the area, and that's hard on the school district, Darin said. "Bend is growing so rapidly they're coming over here to get out of that," Kail added.
On the other hand, tourism is up: The 10-year-old store had its best year in 2003, and the Harbicks plan to open a pizza parlor next door in May.
Off the job: Kail has acted and modeled, and Darin's stage is the golf course: He's a 6 handicap and former winner of the club championship at Tokatee Golf Club. "I'll get razzed for that," he said, chuckling.
- Matt Cooper
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Darin and Kail Harbick, the co-owners of Harbick's Country Store, continue a long family tradition of involvement in the business and social life of the McKenzie Bridge area, where they live with their three children.