Dear Chamber Supporters:
 
While not official for another 10-days, summer got here this week…and really, it feels pretty good. I think this is the first week we’ve had no rain in months…which probably means we’ll be begging for rain in another couple weeks. Such is human nature!
 
SummerFest:
 
It was nice to have an outdoor event the weather didn’t affect…SummerFest was awesome last weekend!! Hard to say total numbers of people who participated…there were so many events in different locations. I never made it to the disc golf tournaments or the professional skated boarder at the Teen Park…but Main Street had steady foot traffic all day…the vintage cars and Ottawa Fire Truck were a big draw (here are a few pictures). The bands and the music was very festive too…many enjoyed the ability to drink their favorite Not Lost brew and sit and watch the bands. I think most everyone had ice cream from Maggie’s. 
 
The Fish Boil in Legacy Square was good too…I didn’t get over to the Square until almost the end…but people appeared to be enjoying just sitting and visiting after their meal – something we haven’t been able to do in a year. In talking with people, almost everyone commented how great it felt to get out and see people again…to actually see their faces without masks. It was cathartic and we all needed it (pictures from Fish Boil).
 
The day ended with family movie night…also at Legacy Square. Approximately 80 people watched Raya and the Last Dragon…a Disney story and recent release (pictures here). There were a lot of tired kids when the credits rolled at about 11:00…and I was tired too. It was a fun day and we got ideas on how to make SummerFest better next year. It was a great community partnership which formed to create the “first annual” SummerFest…the Ottawa Recreation Commission, the Library, Ottawa Main Street Association and the Chamber all worked together to make the day fun-filled. Thanks to all who helped and also to those who attended…personally I enjoyed people at an event enjoying themselves. 
 
Senator Roger Marshall:
 
While not officially a part of SummerFest, the Senator did make a planned stop in Ottawa Saturday morning at the Plaza Cinema. Here is a picture of the Senator with Plaza owner, Scott Zaremba. There was a good turnout of people anxious to hear about his impressions of D.C. and what he predicts on the horizon. I spent most of the time visiting with the staff…if you can reach them, you can reach the Senator. I asked several of his staff if they had any interesting personal stories from January 6, the day of the insurrection…most didn’t and weren’t in the Capitol. The Senator of course experienced it firsthand on the floor of the Senate.  Sonny & Mary Burch’s grandson, Tucker Stewart is the Senator’s Senior Agricultural Policy Advisor…this is a great connection for Ottawa and for Agriculture. Always good to have connections…it’s usually how things end up getting done is from a personal contact!!
 
Leadership Franklin County:
 
Sunday, June 20 is the last day to turn in applications for the Leadership Franklin County class (LFC)…I know applications have been coming in and it looks to be a good group of individuals (application here). It should be a strong class. Last year the board was forced to take a hiatus…as did the whole world. Now coming back stronger than ever the LFC board is planning a great curriculum. LFC uses core programing from the Kansas Leadership Center…the Leadership skills portion of the class is presented by Dr. Marie Gardner of Neosho County Community College. The remaining portion of the class involves immersing participants into the life and history of Franklin County. Once the class is complete, the graduates are very familiar with what services we have available locally…and what’s lacking. Additionally they grow and develop a local network and get a real feel for their leadership style and how to take full advantage of their talents. LFC is a great opportunity…call the Chamber if you have someone in your organization who would benefit from the experience. 
 
Family News:
 
Our family had a busy and big weekend last week. You remember I mentioned last week we were all going to the Royals game…9 adults and 9 kids enjoyed baseball and Kauffman Stadium (here are a few pictures). It made the evening even better that the Royals were up 9-0 in the first inning…and that was before the first out was recorded!!
 
On Sunday we celebrated a birthday and baptism…Evelyn Bernice turned 8 and Patton John was baptized…pictures here. It made for a big weekend and it is always fun to have the whole family together participating in significant life events. 
 
I expect the biggest news of the weekend is the Champlins are expecting their fourth child…due in November. That will be grandchild number 10 for Cherry and me…WOW!! Can’t wait to meet the little rascal!
 
I will be participating in Ottawa University board meeting all day today…should get a good feel for how our new President/CEO Dr. Bill Tsutsui operates. This will be Kevin Eichner’s last board meeting…he leaves a great and lasting legacy. A huge thanks to Kevin for all he’s done for our community and University…he deserves a fantastic retirement!!
 
Talk to you next week…
 
Onward ~ John 
 
John Coen
President/CEO
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
785-242-1000