Dear Chamber Supporter:
 
I was greeted this morning with quite a brace of cold air when I went outside …strong north wind with wind chills in the 30s. I am sure I’m not ready for cold weather…I’m hoping we will have a lot of nice fall weather left and this is just an early wakeup call for the winter which is on the way – coming way too soon for my inclinations!  Today’s my birthday…I have seen snow one time on my birthday that I remember. October 11 is way too early for winter…this is the time for wiener roasts, hay rides and fall festivals. At least let the trees change to beautiful colors!!
 
Heidi and her mom came yesterday to take me to lunch for my birthday…which gave Heidi her first trip to Ottawa. Here is a picture. We went to the Pie Pit for lunch where she received much attention from all in the area. She was the sweetest thing in the restaurant and that includes the piece of Strawberry Rhubarb pie I had for dessert!!
 
Ladies’ Night Out: 
 
It started out to be a wet rainy day last Friday, but by evening when the ladies came out on the town is was cool but dry…it made for a great evening. Over 500 women participated…a few pictures here. This event is always a fun time! Different this year, the ladies’ scavenger hunt began at Legacy Square. Participants begin by registering and picking up a bag which includes a map to all the businesses taking part in their night on the town…to win prizes they must go to all the merchants on the map. If they did, their name was put in a drawing for prizes offered by the businesses. 
 
I always enjoy being on Main Street during this event. Ryland and I stuck together for male moral support…we were eventually joined by Cherry to give our duo more credibility. Many merchants said they sold more merchandise this year than in previous years…that’s good. Usually LNO participants are popping in and popping out quickly to get their prize sheet completed…this year they slowed down and shopped more. You could feel the “good time” in the air as Main Street was very festive last Friday. Here is my staff having a little bit too much fun!!
 
 Thanks to all the volunteers who helped organize LNO…the Chamber could never pull off all the events we provide without a great stable of local people who join together to make good things happen in Ottawa. 
 
Momentum and Good Things: 
 
LNO was a great time to showcase all the synergy which is happening in downtown Ottawa right now! In the last 2 months we have had 4 new retail stores open: The Pie Pit (also a great place to grab lunch), The Gold Rush Mercantile, Farmhouse Boutique, and Sunday Morning Boutique…these new additions only add to the great stores and merchants which were already present in our downtown business district.
 
Coming soon is the Corner Market…the ribbon cutting has been set on the 401 Main Street development for November 1 – mark your calendars. In addition to the Corner Market which will offer a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu there will also be an art gallery provided by local photographer and artist, John Gladman.  This venture, when entirely complete, will eventually include 38 Ottawa University students living on the second floor of the Halloren Building…pretty exciting.
 
In conversations with Ken Frank this week he is planning the grand opening of PrimeTime Grille sometime toward the end of November…this will complete his project of the Fusion Bowling Alley and the joining restaurant. I also met for the first time Patrick who used the Chamber board room to interview potential employees. He is the manager of the new car wash south of town and they plan to be open by the end of next week. When you add in the new dentist office opened by Dr. Leanne Desch…new development is at an all-time high in our community.
 
The Battle Within:
 
I have had several meetings now with Mitch Wheeler, Lisa O’dell and local entrepreneur Ernie Rodina. They are a committed group of individuals who raise money for veterans and first responders which suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of the great Veterans’ Day Parade and the organization of local vets which create the Field of Flags each year, they have chosen Ottawa for what they hope will be an annual celebration of service and also to raise money for the organization “The Battle Within”…website here. The Battle Within is a dedicated organization devoted to helping veterans and first-responders develop the skills needed for longtime healing. This group is planning the first annual Veterans of the Heartland Appreciation Dinner for November 10…invitation here. Going forward you will be hearing more about this fabulous service provided to our service men and women. Here is the agenda for their first event…it should be an awesome experience. If you would like to volunteer to help with this cause there is an organizational meeting next Wednesday morning at 7:30 at the Bottle House (breakfast included)…please come. This will be an excellent opportunity to serve those who have served us to keep our way of life safe…now the community needs to participate to heal the individuals who protected us. 
 
Modern Woodmen:
 
Dale Pearson, longtime community advocate and a sales representative for the fraternal financial service organization, Modern Woodman, hosted Chamber members for coffee and donuts this morning…and to help us better understand the services his organization has available and provides (pictures here). Modern Woodmen of America is a member-owned fraternal financial services organization with more than 750,000 members…they have been touching lives and securing futures since 1883. Dale told us this morning Modern Woodmen is about people…created for our members and owned and operated by them too. Together, they work for families and for the communities they love. Personally, I know many organizations locally have benefited from help from Dale’s service to Modern Woodmen…including Memorial Auditorium, Legacy Square and 4-Hers. Thanks Dale for being a Chamber member and bringing your leadership to the Modern Woodman organization…the community becomes the big benefactor!!
 
Buy your Raffle Ticket: 
 
I’m going to continue to provide the opportunity to purchase your truck raffle ticket…don’t wait too long – we only printed 1,000 tickets. Onward Ottawa is still raising funds for Legacy Square…to close the funding gap and also to complete the work on the playground, add speakers to the venue and additionally add a wayfinding kiosk (here is our new brochure). 
Beckman Motors donated a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and…to sweeten the pot, the Onward Ottawa board has included in the raffle prize package a $1,000.00 cash prize, a Savage Model 64 Gun donated by The Gun Guys (Tim Van Leiden) which will be paired with a Browning Prosteel Safe from Orscheln Farm & Home, a Blackstone Grill donated by Trendel Lumber Company (Jim Trendel), and a Yeti cooler (on wheels) donated by Rod & Pam Harris. The tickets will be sold through October 23 or whenever we run out of tickets (whichever comes first)…the drawing will be Saturday, October 26 at 11:00 a.m. in Legacy Square. 
You can purchase single tickets here for $125.00 per ticket or 10 tickets here for $1,000.00…another way to buy a ticket is to stop by or call the Chamber (785.242.1000) for assistance to purchase tickets with a credit card or check. Additional locations to buy tickets include Beckman Motors in Garnett, Kansas State Bank, Bank Midwest, and Goppert State Service Bank. Please purchase a ticket (or several); and please share our Facebook post with all your FB contacts. 
 
This will be a busy weekend for me…I have Ottawa University board meetings all day today and most of tomorrow. I am looking forward to sitting in the new OU press box to watch the football game. Construction has been ongoing at a fever pitch to complete the work for OU Homecoming which is this weekend. There will be many returning to Ottawa to see the campus and participate in homecoming activities…be sure to be a good host.
 
My family is all coming this evening for my birthday dinner…I’ll be sure to have a few pictures next week. Talk to you then…
 
Onward ~ John
 
John Coen
President/CEO
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
785-242-1000
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