Dear Chamber Supporters:
 
Ol’ Mary River Run…aka The Car Show was a big success this year…if for no other reason the weather was beautiful, the car numbers were good (albeit down a couple hundred in number) and, people came out and enjoyed the show and the community. It was amazing to see people enjoying one another and the cars storming the town…here are a few pictures. Cherry and I went to the Bop Daddies (pictures here) the night before in Forest Park…that was a fun time too. They play the music we remember when we were teens and growing up…along with the nostalgia of being surrounded by the vintage cars and perfect weather, it was an awesome evening.
 
Now on to the next event this weekend…the Bad Astra Bike Race. While not the numbers of the Car Show, we are expecting 120 plus riders and their support teams in town this weekend…probably close to 500 people will come to Ottawa for this event. The Race begins at 7:00 a.m. and is a timed 100-mile race on gravel roads…there is a 50- and 25-mile option too. Sounds a bit grueling to me…but fun to watch the bikers. The City of Ottawa and the Chamber have purchased bells to ring when the riders take off and then at the halfway point will cycle back through Ottawa and head to south Franklin County for another 50-miles. They should begin cycling back into town for the finish around 3:00-4:00 in the afternoon. Couple of fun things…the 100-mile completers get a Bad Astra t-shirt…the 50-mile completers get a “Half Astra” t-shirt. Oh…and this too – Not Lost Brewery is planning a special beer brew called the Bad Astra…just for this event. Encourage you to stop in and take advantage of this special just for this event.
 
Ottawa Recreation Commission (ORC):
 
Speaking of events and things to do this weekend…The ORC hosted Chamber members at the Goppert Recreation Facility this morning (pictures here) to kick off their celebration of being in the facility for 10-years. The real party is tomorrow when ORC hosts a BBQ Cook-off Bash in addition to a cornhole contest, inflatables and ax throwing. Here’s a link to the event page…sounds amazing!  Built in the heart of a residential neighborhood and adjacent to our community school complex, the Goppert Building was a result of community input and hard work. It’s hard to believe it has been there 10-years now…I still call it the new recreation building. ORC Director, Levi Meyer has been in Ottawa for almost a year now…he has breathed new life into the ORC and its programs. Levi shared some astounding facts about the effects of the Goppert building on this community over the span of its ten years of life…over 250,000 people have utilized the facility outside of all the programming they do. This number is closer to 300,000 when you add in ORC youth and adult programs. Those numbers reflect ten years of lives enriched in this community. It sounds like they have a great event planned for this weekend too! 
 
We took just a minute to memorialize Richard Goppert, the patriarch of the Goppert family who passed away a couple of weeks ago. His foundation has contributed $1.2 million into Ottawa for the Teen Park, Kid’s Park at Legacy Square, the Recreation Center and donations to different community activities and organizations. A very special man and magnanimous family. 
 
Farm Bureau Legislative Tour:
 
Every September, our local Farm Bureau hosts a legislative farm tour to allow our elected officials to travel to a working farm for a great meal, conversation and update them on the concerns of agriculture (here are a few pictures). This year the event was hosted by Joe and Marty Bichelmeyer at the Silkville Ranch in south Franklin County. Established originally in 1870 by Frenchman Earnest de Boissiere on 3500 acres (and owned most recently by John and Barbara Netherland), the ranch is located 2.5 miles southwest of Williamsburg. Originally the ranch produced silk from silkworms. Today only a couple of the original buildings remain and are used as tack and horse barns. Silkville is now a working cattle ranch producing quality meat for the Bichelmeyer Meats…who has been processing and selling meat in downtown Kansas City since 1946. Both these stories of history regarding Silkville and Bichelmeyer Meats are intriguing and unique. I don’t have enough time to go deep into the history of Bichelmeyer Meat…but if you want to be inspired by a great read, get the book, Lunchmeat & Life Lessons: Sharing a Butcher’s Wisdom by Mary Bichelmeyer-Lucas…it is an exceptionally inspiring story.
 
The President of Kansas Farm Bureau, Richard Felts came to Ottawa to participate in the Franklin County farm tour…which attracted other elected dignitaries as well. All in all, it was a beautiful evening on the Kansas prairie in which farmers, ranchers and elected officials broke bread and spent time understanding the other’s point of view…we need way more of this!!
 
Egypt in 2022:
 
Are you ready to get out of the house for a bit? Your Chamber is planning another great travel opportunity for November 2022…we are traveling to the Great Plains of Giza to see the pyramids and cruising on the Nile River…just to name a few of the opportunities (brochure here). The entire trip will be 8-days and 6-nights and is scheduled from November 2-9, 2022…mark your calendars. This is an amazing opportunity…and the cost is only $2,699.00 per traveler. When this trip was announced to our regular travelers, we had 5 sign up immediately…this is going to be a fun trip. We have a group of 32 preparing to leave for Ireland this November…these Chamber trips are amazing chances to travel, meet new friends, see new things…all of which expand one’s mind. I hope you are able to join this Egypt experience…call the Chamber at 785.242.1000 or email Sherri for more information. 
 
AdventHealth Ottawa:
 
Still looking for something to do this weekend…the AdventHealth Ottawa Pearl Anniversary Gala concludes this year’s virtual silent auction on Sunday evening. You can see the details here…including how to sign in and all the items which are for sale. Or…you can go to PrimeTime Grille and view the auction items in person in the party rooms. The Gala serves as the premier fundraiser for the AdventHealth Ottawa Foundation. Join in the celebration for the organization’s 30th anniversary and its continued effort to improve the health and wellness of our community. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Cancer Care at AdventHealth Ottawa. Additionally, at 7:00 Sunday evening there will be a virtual live auction. There is no cost to participate…and the proceeds will stay in Ottawa to benefit the Cancer Center. Hope you can join in!!
 
It was good to get back to a Kansas State football game last weekend (pictures here)…so far the Cats don’t look too bad. This weekend against Oklahoma State will be the first big test!!
 
It’s going to be another great weather weekend…figure out some way to get out and enjoy it. You can come ring a bell for the bikers at Legacy Square Saturday morning and then to the 10-year celebration at the Goppert Center for games, fun and barbeque!!
 
Talk to you next week…
 
Onward ~ John 
 
John Coen
President/CEO
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
785-242-1000