Dear Chamber Supporters:


Well Chiefs fans…when I wrote last week, there were no Chiefs wins yet – now we have 2!! It was tense at times last evening…but ultimately turned out okay (at least if you’re not a Chargers fan). Our team looks pretty good so far…a few gaps in our secondary, but we’ll improve as the season moves along. So with both my team – K-State and Chiefs…no losses yet! It portends to be a good fall and football year…but I’ve been a fan too long not to realize there will be hard weekends!   


Power of the Past:


Old tractors of every make and model rolled into Ottawa last weekend for another great Power of the Past…it literally brings thousands into our community (few pictures here). This year’s show featured International Harvester/Farmall tractors. Many of the tractors in Forest Park were exactly the tractors I grew up with…for me, it’s a real walk back in time! There is always so much more activity than just tractors, including Bingo, hay baling and corn shelling, pedal pulls, tractor rides, a quilt show, ham & bean supper and so much more (too many events to list everything). Here is the list of all the activities so you can plan ahead for next year. This was the 27th annual show…beginning in 1995 by just a handful of tractor enthusiasts who were afraid that with the passing of time, younger generations would no longer get to experience or know farming in its heyday. Their mission is to preserve the past, bring back the memories of days gone by and create a learning experience for younger generations. The 28th annual is already scheduled for the 2nd weekend of September 2023 and will feature John Deere tractors…mark your calendars!


AdventHealth and Legacy Square:


AdventHealth stepped up in a big way earlier this year…I’ve been waiting for the signage to be installed to make the announcement. This great corporate citizen paid for a naming sponsorship at Legacy Square…see pictures here. I think most understand we paid and are paying for Legacy Square to be built with private donations…various levels of naming rights were offered as an incentive to contribute. Many took advantage of smaller items such as bricks or benches…the pavilions are the biggest items. Our biggest donor was Image Resource Group…aka Fashion Inc. and Universal Sign among other companies. For their donation, they got to name Legacy Square. No one or organization took advantage of the smaller pavilion…until AdventHealth came to town. Recognizing the need to be community supporters here, as they are in other communities in which they have a presence, made the naming level donation to have the small pavilion branded AdventHealth. The Image Resource Group donated the signs and the installation…Advantage Electric donated the electrical install to light it all up. Thanks to all these great local companies for all the support they give to Ottawa and surrounding area!!


Political Signs:


It’s the season for political signs to bloom in yards all over Ottawa. One of our constant call requests in the Chamber Office is, “Where can I get signs for my candidate?” For my Democrat friends, the Democrat Headquarters is 125 E. 2nd Street and the phone number is 785.418.8500…their hours are 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and 4:00-7:00 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. For my Republican friends, signs for your candidates can be picked up in The Gun Guys at 412 S. Main Street. During the primary, the Republican headquarters was 411 S. Main Street…it is my understanding at some point (maybe next week) they will reopen this location and have it staffed for specific hours. Hope this information is helpful to you!


City Golf Course:


Ottawa City Commissioners voted recently to purchase the Ottawa Golf Course. The Ottawa Country Club Association still owned the local course and rented it to Great Life…so the purchase of the course was from the Association. It’s my understanding, for the time being, Great Life will continue to manage the golf course into the future. This is ultimately a good move…Ottawa needs this amenity for its citizens. Just the same as not everyone uses the swimming pool or the library…so too will be the golf course. But in order to be a well-rounded, full-service community, we need a golf course. In addition, it is an economic development tool as well…when newcomers consider building or buying here, or when businesses contemplate our community to locate here, having this outdoor recreation available locally is essential. With a little help from the Library and Historical Society, I learned our golf course was built in 1911…so it’s been a big part of Ottawa for a long time – 100 years! My grandparents lived next to the golf course back in the 1930s. When my brother and I were kids, we would scavenge Grandpa’s pasture for golf balls…I guess duffers and hackers have been playing the game locally since the course was built! I’m glad it will remain a part of the Ottawa community. 


3 Chamber Events:


We had a bit of a 3-fer this week with Chamber events! On Tuesday evening, PrimeTime Grille/Fusion Alley (PTG/FA) hosted Chamber members for an Afterhours (pictures here). What a great addition this restaurant and bowling alley is for Ottawa…there aren’t enough accolades to describe it!! The all-local investors named the umbrella company Elevate Ottawa…how appropriate. Recently, the PTG/FA hired Cara Duchesne as Financial Advisor…she was introduced and described changes which are coming to PTG specifically. Already on Tuesday evenings, Coach’s Corner is hosted with Derek Chappell and KOFO, and for now, the OU Football coach. As football winds down, other coaches from other sports will be added. In the coming weeks they are adding a trivia night and eventually live music…both sound fun. Also in the offing are new menu items…I myself enjoy a Ruben sandwich for lunch. I can vouch…it was a great sandwich!! Dr. Ken Frank, the organizer of Elevate Ottawa, welcomed the 50 or more guests to the event and described some of the thoughts and feelings of the investors. Also in attendance were 3 of the other investors, Betty Birzer, Deb Henningsen and Bob and Pat Hayden…not there this evening are Phil and Claudia Gibson, Drs. Rod and Jo McCalla, and Jim and Linda Lewis. A big Ottawa thank you to this entire group for investing in their local community!!


This morning, Joe and Kristin Randall (husband and wife), partnered on hosting Chamber members at Luigi’s for Kristin’s business Dream Vacations…and Joe’s business, Advanced Investments, LLC. (pictures here). Kristin’s business, Dream Vacations, pretty much describes itself. Her goal is to help you plan your bucket list vacation. She plans trips to specific destinations, resorts, tours or even cruises. She’s anxious to help you arrive at the destination which you have always dreamed of going. Joe’s business, Advanced Investments, has recently hired Jarred Sterling to join his company…they admit their dedication and commitment are driven by their desire to have a meaningful impact on their clients. Joe has been helping clients plan for retirement and manage their investments for a number of years…Jarred is a longtime banker and will easily fit in and navigate the financial investment world. In addition to being Chamber members, Dream Vacations and Advanced Investments became Bronze Sponsors of the Chamber…great community citizens. A big thank you to Joe and Kristin for your investment in Ottawa and service to your customers…we are lucky you are here!


Birthday and Baptism:


Last weekend, most of my family gathered in Cedar Vale to celebrate Codie Cherry’s 3rd birthday and 9-month-old Johnna Taylor’s dedication (pictures here). Three-year-old birthday parties are the best!! The kids are old enough to know to blow out the candles…but not quite old enough to be very good at it and need big brothers to help!! They are so excited to see all the presents…but ready to stop and play after opening the very first gift and forget about the rest of the presents!


Johnnie is also very precocious…this coming from a grandpa!! She smiles so big, is pulling up but not walking…can get wherever she wants in a fast crawl and loves to sit on grandma and grandpa’s lap! All the actions needed to get more presents for Christmas!!


Looking forward to the Car Show this weekend…expect huge crowds in town. I’ve been seeing vintage cars on Main Street all week…I expect they will really begin rolling in this afternoon. See you all Saturday at the show!


Talk to you next week…


Onward ~ John 


Onward ~ John  


Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce

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