Dear Chamber Supporters:
 
Happy Friday the 13th…hope your day is going well and no bad omens have plagued your daily activities. Coincidently, today falls in the stretch of 10 palindrome days…which are dates which read the same backwards and forwards. The dates from 9/10/19-9/19/19 are identical whether you begin at the end or the beginning.  This little feat won’t happen again until 2021. So after 9/19/19 the next palindrome date is 12/1/21. 
 
Here is a palindrome phrase “NEVER ODD OR EVEN”…not much value here other than to impress your friends with your palindrome knowledge.
 
What a great evening it was last Friday night when we hosted Travis Marvin for the grand opening of Legacy Square. We estimated over the course of the evening over 1,000 people stopped to listen to the concert, grab a meal from the food trucks or just visit with neighbors. The weather was beautiful…which was hard to believe when you consider how bad weather has plagued the project since the beginning of construction last March. Here are a few pictures of Travis and people enjoying the evening. Even though the sod was new, it was fun to see the kids playing tag and football on the grass area…and the sod came through in flying colors by the way!  
 
As I mentioned last week there are still a few items to finish which will happen in the next couple of weeks. This week has been slower…and it’s good to take a break from the work after the celebration. I noticed shoppers and merchants enjoying parking under the shade structure this week. I’m sure all are glad to return to old routines. We hope to have everything wrapped up by the third weekend when Ottawa is host to the community’s largest event, Ol’ Maries River Run. 
 
Ottawa Featured Again:
 
It becoming almost commonplace for me to mention Ottawa being featured in national, state or regional publications. This week our town was the community spotlight for the Kansas City Area Development Council electronic email…you can see and read here
 
Additionally you can read about Ottawa hosting its first annual Frisbee Fest here and see pictures…over 600 people participated from 27 different communities. The tournament sold out and was a joint effort between the local Kansa Disc Golf Club and Ottawa Bike and Trail. This piece was published in the Kansas Park & Recreation Association magazine. 
 
Dentist Office Open:
 
Custom Dental is now officially open…located at 2030 South Princeton Street (in the Orscheln’s parking lot). Dr. Leanne Desch is native to Ottawa…she graduated from Ottawa High School as Leanne Drumright and her parents still live in town. Dr. Desch joined the Chamber this week so I’m sure she will host Chamber members to see her new office soon…meanwhile Sydney stopped by and took a few pictures of her new practice. You can see inside the office here. Additionally you can learn more about the new practice here. Welcome home Leanne…good luck in your business up and running!!
 
Day on the Farm:
 
This annual event which allows all 3rd graders in Franklin County to visit Sylvester Ranch for a day to experience life on a farm and to see and learn how food, fiber and energy are produced (pictures here). The kids also learn about animal husbandry including the proper care and treatment of animals. It is awesome the Sylvesters are willing to host this event each year…as we continue to urbanize as a society, kids need to know and realize how and what agriculture is and what it means to our culture. I enjoy watching the high school students present and teach the third graders as much as I enjoy the awe of the younger students. The Chamber took a step back from organizing the event this year…Franklin Co. Farm Bureau and the Extension Service did the heavy lift of organizing the event…the Chamber continues to be a sponsor of Day on the Farm. It is too important of an event for us to not be involved on some level.
 
Police Foundation and Communities in Schools:
 
Chamber members gathered this morning to say thank you to Bo Killough for his annual Hog-Wild Event which is a fundraiser which benefits a couple of local organizations (pictures here). Bo has been a longtime Franklin County businessman and philanthropist and his efforts are greatly appreciated. He officially organized his own 501c3 to allow contributions to Hog-Wild and then each year identifies several organizations to benefit from the event. This year Hog-Wild raised $61,000.00…this morning, of that total amount, Bo officially donated $15,400.00 to the local Police Foundation to continue to host D.A.R.E. Camp for area 5th graders and $16,600.00 to Communities in Schools to aid their local efforts of helping schoolchildren with extra needs.  
 
9/11:
 
The remembrance of September 11, 2001 was Wednesday this week…I happened to be traveling down I-35 on Wednesday and saw this amazing scene on an overpass near the Greeley exit…it was pretty awesome. I’m sure most can remember where they were and what they were doing on that fall day when the terrorist planes crashed into the Twin Towers. The event occurred before the days of social media but the word still traveled quickly…I was home working around the dairy when Cherry called me. I went in and started watching the televised account of all that was occurring and became quickly and completely mesmerized…as I’m sure happened to many of you. It was quite a day…a day we’ll never forget – and shouldn’t!  Now referred to as Freedom Day, 9/11 reminds us that freedom is never free…many have paid the ultimate price for us to continue to live in a Republic and live free. We must never forget!!
 
Codie Cherry Champlin:
 
The reason I was driving down I-35 was to meet my new granddaughter…Codie Cherry Champlin (pictures here). She was born on Freedom Day and weighed in at 7 lbs. and 13 oz. and is 21” long. She is also beautiful and very precious…just in case you were wondering!! Codie becomes Cherry’s and my 7th grandchild…each as special as the next. Her two brothers, Max and Newt were pretty excited to meet her…Codie will have her hands full with those 2!!
 
On Thursday I got to spend the morning with Newt…here are a couple pictures. Mom and Dad were at the hospital – so was Grandma Cherry and Max was in school…so Newt and I went to the local diner in Cedar Vale and had pancakes, bacon and eggs before going to Wal-Mart to select some new toys for him and Max (as well as a few presents for Codie). Some things are just a grandpa’s prerogative. Later we picked up Max at preschool and went to the hospital to deliver our gifts…one was a new pair of jammies which say “little sister”!! She wore them home from the hospital later that day. All in all it was a pretty thrilling week…much less stressful than last week. We’re looking forward now to our 8th grandchild in October…another little girl. Can’t wait to meet her!!
 
Got to run now…talk to you next week.      
 
Onward ~ John   
 
John Coen
President/CEO
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
785-242-1000
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