Dear Chamber Supporters:
It’s October and it finally felt like fall this morning…50 degrees when I got out of bed. Agreed that’s not cold but it is definitely chillier than we’ve experienced for the whole month of September. First frost is usually around the second full week of October…it feels like it could actually happen now.
Another signal that summer is done is the end of the baseball season and the beginning of the playoffs…Cherry and I went to our last Royals game a week ago (pictures here). Players and fans honored Ned Yost’s devotion to the team for the last 10 years and for being the winningest manager in Royals history with 1,203 wins…the most appreciated being the 5th game of the 2015 World Series! You have to admit he’s been here for the good, the bad, and yes…even the ugly. But he is beloved by fans and brought baseball back to Kansas City and to a new generation of fans which had never experienced winning before. It was a real party in 2014 and 2015!! Hate to see Ned go…but easing this a little is a new owner. John Sherman will be an excellent owner. I’ve never met him personally but I’m familiar with his generous spirit from my service on the Ottawa University board…he is one of the University’s largest donors. It is fun to have an OU graduate (and Ottawa connection) own the Royals…looking forward to the future.
The annual hospital Gala was last weekend and very well attended (a few pictures here). A little over 250 local hospital supporters gathered to raise funds to support our local healthcare institution…this year specifically to raise money for a hyperbaric chamber. With the increase of diabetes in our society, hyperbaric chambers are a proven form of oxygen therapy for infected wounds which won’t heal by other means and also for other serious infections. Local radio personality Derek Chappell emceed the event. Money is raised through donated items which are auctioned…some through a silent auction in which all bid with their phone and bigger items are sold in a live auction. A very popular item was a signed Patrick Mahomes jersey (is it too early to say the kid is already having a hall of fame career?)…the jersey brought $4,200.00. In total Kaci Brady says the Gala raised $143,000.00 for our local hospital. Staged this year in the Historic Post Office, the food and fellowship were fabulous and it is a fun way to support healthcare and our local hospital facility.
Ottawa High School homecoming:
This week OHS students have been celebrating homecoming…the game to be played tonight and the new OHS King and Queen will be crowned. I remember when our kids were in school how big this week is in the life of a high school student. Wednesday was supposed to be their big downtown block party on the Courthouse lawn…rain moved the event to the school (imagine that!). Still…it was a fun time. The pep band played and the students had games and challenges in which to compete. Here are pictures of the pie eating contest…first a round of teachers (that’s Blake Lasley in the lead). Then a challenge between classes (students were selected to participate by a drawing). Lastly the King and Queen candidates competed to eat the most pie. You can tell everyone was having a fun time. Cherry’s class made the pies…32 in all. They had a good time making the decorated tarts and imagining their pies in the faces of their favorite teachers.
Also during homecoming week, there is a different theme every day…Wednesday was cowboy day. Here are a couple wild and crazy cowgirl teachers who like to dress up too…Cherry and Hailey Waymire. All in all…it was a fun week for students. I hope they get a big win tonight against Bonner Springs…that will make the week perfect.
We cut the ribbon on another new downtown business this morning…(pictures here) Farmhouse Boutique at 216 S. Main Street. Jennifer and Jeremiah Bentley are the proprietors…Jennifer started her business online and eventually bought a prefab outbuilding to house her inventory. In addition to selling fashion, she also is a realtor. The Farmhouse Boutique is going to be another great fashion choice in Ottawa’s major retail area…you can see their Facebook page here and in addition their webpage here.
This makes the 4th new retail business opening in downtown Ottawa in the last 2 months. Others include The Pie Pit, Sunday Morning Boutique, The Gold Rush Mercantile, and now Farmhouse Boutique. Another change is happening on the north end of Main Street…Front Porch Antiques (534 N. Main Street) has changed ownership. Longtime proprietor Sharron Spence has sold her business and it has been purchased by an Ottawa couple, Lisa and Alan Myers (picture here). The business will now be Front Porch Antiques and Décor. One last Main Street update…I learned this week Gary and Penny Hogelin have sold County Living to their son Brian who plans on expanding the selection in the store.
Downtown Ottawa is becoming an even more awesome place to shop…no better time to check it out than this evening during the Chamber’s annual Ladies’ Night Out. There will be over 500 people on the street tonight enjoying shopping, refreshments and prizes…be sure to come – if for no other reason than to grab dinner at one of our local restaurants and watch all the fun.
First Friday Forum:
First Friday Forum was different and interesting this morning…speaker Alan Detrich, a Lawrence artist and dinosaur hunter (pictures here) spoke of some of his great finds and opportunities the discoveries have brought him. Mr. Detrich (website here) has excavated and found many notable findings in Kansas and Montana…including an 88 million-year-old Mosasaur (an ancient sea monster), an 8’ Triceratops skull, a baby T-Rex dinosaur, and a Plesiosaur which he later sold to a European museum. In return for selling the artifact, he was provided the opportunity to see firsthand the Spear of Jesus said to be the spear which was thrust into Jesus’ side as he hung on the cross. Mr. Detrich later replicated the spear and is shown with his creation in the pictures.
Buy your Raffle Ticket!:
We are having fun with the Legacy Square raffle. 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 and additionally add a wayfinding kiosk. 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. Only 1,000 tickets have been printed for sale to increase the odds of winning and raffle tickets which will be sold through October 23…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 do the Onward Ottawa board a favor…1): purchase a ticket (or several); and 2): share our Facebook post with all your FB contacts. We have boosted the post but it will get even more exposure if everyone shares with all your FB friends.
Here are a few grandkid pictures for this week…with new babies I can’t resist. Here are the 2 new babies and here are brother and sister pictures. We will have the two newest arrivals together for the first time in a couple of weeks…can’t wait!
It’s time to get ready for Ladies’ Night Out…hope I see you downtown this evening. It will be chilly – wear a coat and come ready to have a good time.
Talk to you next week…
Onward ~ John
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce