Area residents are encouraged to mark their calendars, because the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual celebration is happening next week.
The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 at Platte County Ag Park, 822 15th St. in Columbus. Tickets cost $25 for employees of a Chamber-member business and $35 for non-members. Members can reserve a table for eight for $250. Those interested in reserving a table or buying a ticket can contact the Chamber office at 753 33rd Ave. in Columbus at 402-564-2769 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chamber President Jeanne Schieffer said 500 people so far are anticipated to be in attendance. Dinner will consist of burgers, brats, beans, coleslaw and other tailgate food with star-shaped cookies for dessert.
“Last year we had many, and we’d love to have more of the community, businesses and residents join us,” Schieffer said about the event.
Last year, the featured speaker was Nebraska Football head coach Scott Frost. This time around it will be University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletic Director Bill Moos. Chamber staff member Sandie Fischer said sports guest speakers are always a crowd pleaser.
“We like the Husker theme. It brings in people to the event,” Fischer said.
The event serves as an opportunity to celebrate the collective accomplishments of the chamber over the past year, with anniversaries regarding chamber members being acknowledged.
This year, the chamber will honor Loup Public Power District for its 85 years of chamber membership and BankFirst for 50 years. Those being honored for 25 years of membership include Ten Minute Oil Change Center, Audio-Logic, P.C., Performance Printing, Wendy’s, FLEXcon Company Inc. and Nebraska Army National Guard. Last year, the chamber honored Cornhusker Public Power’s 75 years of chamber membership and Tooley Drug & Homecare 50 years.
The Rich Anderson Chamber Volunteer of the Year award will also be presented. Last year it was a tie, going to both Miki Naylor of Pillen Family Farms and Kurt Shevlin, owner of ServiceMaster by Shevlin. Outgoing chamber board members and incoming board members will also be recognized at the celebration.
The Chamber will also be using the event as an opportunity to celebrate its 4-Star Accreditation from The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This review occurs every few years and puts the Columbus chamber in the top 3 percent of chambers nationwide.
"The highest is five stars, and we got a four," Fischer said. "So pretty cool."
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.