By The Telegram

Menards has announced a grand opening celebration for its new Garden City store featuring nine days of special events, including appearances by a University of Kansas basketball star and Kansas City Chiefs running back.

The store is located at 1110 Lareu Road, on the corner of East Schulman Avenue and Lareu Road.

Menards has built its reputation by recognizing that people expect high quality guest service, competitive pricing and shopping convenience. It has full-service lumberyards, garden centers, landscape blocks, lighting options, tools, hardware supplies, doors, windows, flooring, plumbing supplies, cabinets, appliances, patio furniture, home d├ęcor items and much more.

"This is our sixth Kansas store and we're excited to bring our diverse product mix to Garden City," Menards Spokesperson, Jeff Abbott said in a press release. "Whether you're a casual shopper, beginning do-it-yourselfer or more experienced contractor, we can help with all of your home improvement needs."

A family-owned and run business since 1958, Menards has steadily grown throughout the years.

With 280 stores in 14 states, the chain has relied on being the low-price leader while "winning people over by treating them like family in a hometown hardware store atmosphere," the release said.

The store, which opened in late May, employs 200 people. "The town has been very welcoming and we're pleased that we were able to hire many people from the Garden City area," Garden City Menards General Manager Lars Paulsen said. "We have some really hard working employees who are very excited for the upcoming grand opening. We invite everyone to stop by and experience the Menards way every day."

The grand opening celebration starts today and runs through June 16. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Appearances include:

* Chainsaw artist John Gage, who will create wood carvings from logs. Representing Remington Chainsaws, Gage is well-known throughout the Midwest as a personable and talented artist. Gage's carvings will be available for public sale.

* Tyshawn Taylor, former Kansas Jayhawks guard, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday (two free autographs). A four-year starter for the University of Kansas, Taylor helped the Jayhawks to a 127-21 record with four Big 12 regular-season titles, two Big 12 tourney championships, two NCAA Elite Eights and one Final Four.

As a senior, Taylor averaged 16.5 points and 4.9 assists per game, was named to the 2012 first team All-Big 12 team and led the Jayhawks to the national championship game. Taylor was selected by the Portland Trailblazers as the 41st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft before being traded and signing a contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

* Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs running back, will be on hand from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday (two free autographs). After earning Florida's high school player of the year honors, McCluster had a record-setting career at University of Mississippi. He had a breakout season as a senior in 2009, becoming the only player in SEC history to rush for more than 1,000 yards while gaining over 500 yards receiving in a single season. A second-round draft choice in the 2010 NFL Draft by Kansas City, McCluster has proven to be a versatile performer as a running back, receiver and kick returner while becoming a fan favorite among faithful Chiefs fans, the release said.

* Jason Elam, former Denver Broncos kicker, will sign autographs from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday (two free autographs).

Selected by the Denver Broncos out of the University of Hawaii in the 1993 NFL Draft, Elam had a record-setting 17-year career as a placekicker.

Elam owns the NFL record of 371 consecutive extra points and is tied for the longest field goal in league history of 63 yards. One of the most accurate field goal kickers in NFL history, Elam won two Super Bowl titles during his 15 seasons in Denver, retiring as a Bronco on March 30, 2010.

* Racing appearance: Paul Menard's 2011 Indy Brickyard winning No. 27 car and Matt Crafton's No. 88 truck will be on display from noon to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Racing apparel and die-cast cars also will be on sale.