Why Orange City: Bret Walinga

How long have you lived in Orange City?

10 Years

Where did you move from?


Why did you move to Orange City?

I was born and raised in Alton, and my wife was born and raised in Sioux Center. We both went to Unity Christian High School and when we decided to get married, it was a no-brainer to make Orange City our home. We loved everything about Orange City and talked about raising our family here. We love our church, school, and community here in Orange City. 10 years later, our dream is a reality. We are raising our 4 children in this great community!

How would you describe your lifestyle in Orange City (work, school, activities)?

Busy. With 4 children under the age of 6, we are busy. My wife, Shelby, works at Orange City Area Health System in the Physical Therapy Department, and I own/operate The Moving Company.

Thanks to having Orange City Area Daycare in town, it is possible for both my wife and I to work. Our kids receive excellent care at OCAD and enjoy going to play/learn with their friends! Our oldest began kindergarten at Orange City Christian this fall, and she has adjusted well to that change.

When Shelby and I are not working and the kids are not at school/daycare, we stay busy with many things in the community. Neeva enjoyed her first year of soccer and dance this year. We also enjoy fishing as a family at one of the ponds in town (Hospital/Hampton/Landsmeer). Trips to the park are also a must for us when the weather allows!

What has surprised you the most about living in Orange City?

The cooperation and participation of some folks in putting on the Tulip Festival. Several people give tremendous amounts of time so others can have a great experience at the festival. This selfless service is appreciated and not found in many communities.

What do you most enjoy about the community?

We love that the community is growing and being proactive in economic development. The growth we’ve seen in 40 years hasn’t hurt the “small-town feel.” Many small rural towns are contracting in size, yet we are bucking that trend.

What makes Orange City unique from other places you’ve lived?

The strong mix of retail, manufacturing, and service jobs makes OC a destination for a wide range of people. This blend of people makes the community stronger and a better place to live.

What should others outside Orange City or those considering a move to Orange City know?

You will come to a progressive town with school systems in place to educate the next generation of workers for our businesses, and it is a great place to raise a family.

We have seen the outstanding leadership of critical people help change the landscape for the better. Talented folks have made Orange City home because of our quality of life. We have churches that teach us to care for others, creating a community fabric of support and care.