I don't know about you, but I am ready for warmer weather.

As we start a new year, let me introduce you to your new officers: Jane Rhinehart, Commerce Bank, President; David Carriger, USD 493, President-elect; Robin Laurance, Farmers Co-op, Treasurer. Thank you to Trish Carroll for her many ours of service to the Chamber and also to retiring board members: Mary Burke, Carl Fogleman, and Robin Wells. They have all spent many hours of service for the Chamber and to the community.

The board will hold their annual retreat from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the Class LTD conference room. This is a time for them to go over success in 2017 and plan their program of work for 2018. Members are encouraged to attend and give suggestions, input on good and bad. This is your Chamber and it takes all working together to continue its growth and to provide not only for our member business and to make a better way of life for the community with it's many community activities.

Committees are being formed, if you would like to serve on a committee, let the office know or when their is a meeting, attend. Many of the committees only need to meet once or twice to plan their activities, others take much more. Columbus Day meets the last Thursday of each month, through September. The different programs are broken down with usually one or two persons taking care of an activity. Of course, some of those activities are already being worked on. New ideas are always being taken. In order for the continued growth, we need to add new things. This weekend brings thousands of visitors to our community from outside our area, so that in turn, leaves money to our businesses, city, and county.

This year the city will be celebrating their 150th anniversary with activities throughout the year. The all school reunion is also being held in 2018, which brings back many alumni. This committee has been meeting since August of 2017. One of their larger anticipated events will be held at 6:30 p.m. on June 23, when the time capsule that was buried 50 years ago, will be opened. Many alumni will be here to see that, as they remember it being buried in 1968. Many have already registered for the reunion, when several coming in each week, other activities are planned for that weekend. We do need volunteers to act as past residents of Columbus for a cemetery tour and meet and greet during the City Celebration. With help from the Genealogical Library and Columbus Museum, in researching the different persons - there have been some very interesting people from Columbus.

Last year, the Chamber took back the Miss Columbus program or it would have dropped. Many remarked that they were glad that it was going to continue, well, in order for it to continue, we need volunteers to do the program, this is another one of those activities that it takes many. We are going to make some changes and see if we break it down to sub-committees, if that will help and no one will have to spend all their time. These are the sub-committees: recruitment, community service, fundraisers/gifts, pageant, banquet, and judges. Fawna Coons and Gracie Helms will do the cookbook, the sleepover and etiquette lessons. If you are willing to take on one of these, please let the office or Jane know.

You have until Monday, Jan. 8 to nominate a Chamber member business for "Business of the Year". You can send by email to the Chamber office. Just tell why they deserve to be business of the year - what they do for the community, any expansion in space, employees, etc.

We have about three tables left for adoption for the annual dinner. This is your time to advertise or remind members that you are out there, no fee. We ask that you leave 10 table favors for those at your table. Theme is "Through the Decades", so you have a wide range in the direction you want to go. Advise the office if you would like to decorate a table..

Cyber security/counterfeit workshop will be held at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the community building. The board has sit up a call list to advise members when counterfeit bill are being circulated. The Sheriff or Police department will advise us with information and we will advise our board members so they can call their list; I will also send an email to members. This was used last week when a problem came about.

This week:

Wednesday, January 3 All School Reunion/City Celebration, noon

Tuesday, January 9 Executive meeting, noon

Wednesday, January 10 Board meeting, noon at community building

The Freshman Basketball Tournament is January 15, 16, and 19, gyms at CUHS and Central will be used. We still need someone to do books and run the clock each evening at either gym of your choice.

We wish you all have a very good 2018 and thank you for all your support,

Jean