Dear Chamber Supporters:
 
Hope you are wearing your red today…many have held our collective breaths this year for the chance for the Chiefs to repeat as Super Bowl Champs. One of the biggest challenges in any sport – defending your championship! Sunday here we go…game on! I feel, as I expect many of you do…optimistic. Admittedly it’s one of those things you hate to say out loud. Regardless…this team is a lot of fun – we’ve seen some great football the last 3 seasons with Andy Reid at the helm and Mahomes implementing his masterful plays. 
 
Here are some fun facts you can impress your friends with this Sunday…Super Bowl LV will feature the greatest age spread in quarterbacks with Tom Brady checking in at 43-years…18-years and 45-days older than 25-year-old Patrick Mahomes. Last year, Super Bowl LIV, featured 2 repeating cities matching up in a championship game…in 2014, the Giants beat the Royals, and in 2020, the Chiefs beat the 49ers. This is Andy Reid’s third Super Bowl appearance having lost his first with the Philadelphia Eagles. And lastly…Chiefs fans had a long drought between Super Bowls (50-years) – now with a chance to repeat, they could join an elite group of only 7 other teams to have won back-to-back Championships. And…the longest-suffering fans: the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions have never been to a Super Bowl. Can’t wait until Sunday…it should be fun!! 
 
COVID Update:
 
Franklin County active cases are up this week from 59 last week to 93 this week – there have been 2 new deaths recorded. Receiving the vaccine continues to remain a bit of a moving target…the County Health Department never receives much notice when they will receive the serum…only it here or on the way. It makes planning difficult…but still, our local health department has received to date 1,820 doses (this does not include the doses received by AdventHealth Ottawa or assisted care facilities). If your name is on the list to be vaccinated, the current calling age is 78-year-old citizens. The number to get on the list is 785.229.3531…here is this week’s report
 
Thank You:
 
One last thank you to all who participated in the Chamber’s Family and Friends Fun Night. From the organizers to all who donated gifts, bought a ticket, bid on an item, you helped your Chamber raise $9,000…this is huge coming off a year of reduced income caused by COVID. As auction buyers have been picking up and paying for their items, we have met many new people who are not Chamber members but buying auction items…this is great. Our hope was to create a community event. Many have said be sure to let them know when we do this next year. We probably will do something similar…we had fun in the Chamber helping to organize the event. Here we are enjoying a meal at PrimeTime Grille during the auction week…we hope all that participated had an enjoyable time too!
 
Med Mari:
 
Governor Kelly made an interesting proposal this week…it’s sure to be met with mixed emotions. Kelly is proposing legalizing medical marijuana and tax it to pay for expanding Medicaid. I’m not advocating either way for medical marijuana…I have long since been a proponent of Medicaid expansion. I don’t mind providing information – here is a factsheet regarding healthcare, expansion and medical marijuana for you to make informed decisions. It will be a hot topic in the Kansas Legislature going forward into the spring.   
 
Prairie Paws Animal Shelter:
 
Prairie Paws began a new era this week…new director, Vanessa Cowie started work at the shelter on Monday, February 1. I haven’t had the chance to meet Vanessa yet, but Melissa Reed, former director and now City Clerk for the City of Ottawa gives her a stellar review…Melissa says we couldn’t be luckier here in Franklin County than to have Venessa managing our animal shelter. You can see and read a little more about Vanessa here…previously she managed the animal shelter at Salina, Kansas. She has over 10-years’ experience in animal welfare and most recently has been working in software development. 
Welcome to Ottawa Vanessa…can’t wait to meet you. 
 
Patton John:
 
You knew I’d have more pictures of my newest grandson this week…here they are. He came to grandpa and grandma’s house to meet his big sister and brother and all go home for the first time together. So far he’s been a good baby! There is something melodious about a new baby’s cry…it’s sweet and pure – and they are so anxious and willing to accept cuddling to be soothed. Big sister Evie (6) and big brother Jase (3) have been big helpers…I’m not sure they would agree on the sweet sound of a new baby’s cry but they love to hold Patton. 
 
While baby brother was in the hospital we kept the 2 older siblings at our house…here are pictures of Jase and I going to the barber to get trimmed up to meet the new arrival.  
 
Stay warm this week ahead…sounds like our first really cold weather. And of course: GO CHIEFS!!
 
Onward ~ John 
 
John Coen
President/CEO
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
785-242-1000