The chamber is proud to say that Taste of Columbus continued a tradition of success in its 17th year as we hosted another wonderful crowd of people last Sunday night for an evening of “Something Good” about Columbus.

In fact, I think you would say the food was better than “good.” These vendors continue to raise the bar each year and continue to give people great reasons to come back. If you enjoyed the event, we hope you’ll thank them the next time you see any of these vendors: Buresh Catering; Columbus Christian School; Columbus Community Hospital; El Tapatio; Fair Park Grille; Husker Steak House; Hy-Vee; Pizza Ranch; Ramada-Columbus; Shadows Restaurant & Pub; Traditions; Walmart; and Wunderlich’s. What a treat it was to sample their best on Sunday night.

Co-chairs Dr. Ron and Ann Ernst and Mark and Margie Mercer deserve a great deal of credit for getting people and businesses involved. These four assembled a great team and also led by example in how hard they worked. Our vice-chairs, the Chochons and Tessendorfs, contributed a lot and we’re excited about working with them next year. It’s really inspiring to me to see these community leaders spend some of their time and energy on an event that takes so much of both.

The chamber was proud this year to partner with the Columbus Community Center. Cindy Branting and her awesome team of volunteers were great to work beside on the event. More importantly, they are providing a tremendous (and growing) array of services to our citizens and I’m proud that we’ll be able to provide them support as a result of the event.

Next year we’ll be working with the Columbus Area Future Fund, building a permanent source of “community investment capital” and that’s going to be another great story to tell.

With the conclusion of Taste of Columbus, we quickly turned our attention to the golf course as Columbus hosted the NSAA Girls Class B State Tournament on Monday and Tuesday. This is another tremendous example of community collaboration. It takes so many volunteers to run this event and they show up, year after year, to help. And that is despite a couple days of weather that would have tested any “fair-weather golfer” to really enjoy time on the links.

Of course, it also takes great leadership. The Columbus/Platte County CVB hosts the event and Deb Loseke does a great job organizing all the local commitments to the tournament. Event Chair Al Niedbalski puts heart and soul into the event, as well, recruiting volunteers and planning out logistics. This school year we get to do it again, as Columbus will be host to the boys state tournament in the spring for the first time. Hats off to Deb, Al and the CVB for bringing these events to Columbus, filling hotel rooms and bringing revenue to the Columbus economy.

In short, a fulfilling week of work for the team inside the chamber’s walls and we are really grateful the community supports this work.

K.C. Belitz is president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

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