Grand Opening of On the Beach Family Fun Center

Congratulations toChamber Executive Board Members Ed Mueller and Ron Strickland, Chamber Director Wendy Jones, and Chamber Members Darrell Geist with First Baptist Church and Stephanie Gilbert with Prairie Chic present an official First Dollar of Profit to On the Beach owner Emily Porter and staff.

Congratulations and we wish you all the best in your new business!

2015 is going to be FUN!

As 2014 draws to a close, I get so extremely excited looking ahead to all the fun things we have planned for 2015!

The Chamber’s Fun Committee has already started planning for our next Quarter Mania event on Sunday, February 8. We’ll be partnering with the PEO for this event and look to build on our one and make this one even more fun! Anyone interested in being a vendor can contact Leslie Mayes.

The Chamber has always hosted an annual banquet and awards dinner the last Monday in January. We are moving the date back two weeks to Monday, February 9 and we are looking to make it even more of a community event.

Promote Your Group! (1)During the social hour, we’re going to have a Groups & Organizations Showcase. Have you been wanting to get involved in your community, but didn’t know where to start? We will offer all of the groups and organizations in town a place to come out and tell you who they are and what they do. If you belong to a group and would like to reserve a space during the showcase, contact Stephanie Gilbert at Prairie Chic.

We are working on a lot more new and exciting things for the banquet and awards dinner, but for now we’ll be keeping them “under our hat”. (and yes, that is a clue!)

I hope that everyone has had as fantastic of a year as we have had here at the Chamber. It is our pleasure to serve our members and our community.

Get Your Nominations In

Who do you know that has made a big impact on our communities? It’s time to start thinking about nominations for Citizens of the Year and Educators of the Year.

Last year, I had several people ask “Why didn’t so-and-so win?” and I replied that they had not been nominated. Don’t just assume that someone else will nominate them! If you feel strongly that someone deserves to be honored, get a form and let us know!

DYNAMICYoung Citizen of the Year is for people under the age of 25 and for the last two years the award has been won by a high school senior. Let us know which young person you see making an impact.

Citizen of the Year recognizes the contributions of the past year of a person between the ages of 25 and 60. Whether it be social, charitable, or governmental; we want to honor the difference they make.

Our Senior Citizen of the Year award honors those who are over the age of 60. Tell us who is using their experience and maturity to better our little corner of the world so we can recognize them.

We award an Educator of the Year plaque to someone in each of the surrounding school districts to the education professional that has gone above and beyond for their students.

Mark Monday, February 9 on your calendar as the Chamber celebrates prominent citizens and educators and as we highlight the achievements of our businesses and organizations. The event is not just for Chamber members, everyone is welcome. It’s sure to be a night of fun and laughter!


Well another fantastic Christmas festival is in the books and there just isn’t room enough in this column to express all my thankfulness to everyone who helped to make it the spectacular event that it was!

First and foremost, thank you to the awesome Fun Committee and the event chairperson, Chardy Bayes for all their enthusiasm, long hours, and hard work! You guys are truly appreciated! Thank you to Even Backhus for creating the great Snowball distribution system; those ping pong balls went so much farther this year! Santa Land looked so great at the official lighting; thank you to everyone who worked to put it all together! I know everyone will agree that the Candy Land Crafts for kids portion of the festival went so much better this year with Miss Susan at the helm; thank you so much Susan Mueller!

wreath set upThank you to all the businesses that donated and helped out in every facet of the event from snowballs to wreaths to sponsoring different things.

Thank you to Santa Claus for not only making yourself available during the evening events, but for coming to the new breakfast event as well. You made the kids’ day!

Thank you to Fireman Tim and Fireman Colby for your help in the parade and for all the individuals, businesses, and groups that had floats in our parade. Someone told us that our parade was bigger and better than Abilene’s! Thank you to the Throttle Jockeys for helping with the parade line up and for sponsoring the carriage in the parade. Also a big thank you to all the city employees who pitched in to make things run smoothly.

Thank you to Pastor Darrell for bringing your sound system down to Mrs. Claus’ Market and for leading off a great long line of fantastic performances. The music really made the Market so festive!

Of course the whole event would be for naught if it were not for all the people that attended the different events and that shopped at Mrs. Claus’ Market. Thank you for braving the misty cool weather and supporting your community.tisha

My list of people would never be complete without a big thank you very much to my favorite elf, the best Chamber Husband ever who had no idea what he was getting into when I took this job. Not only did he build that amazing Santa float with the flying reindeer, he worked all day Saturday quietly moving tables and setting up signs and doing all the little things that needed to be done.

As I sit here exhausted from a full weekend of events, I am sure that my fuzzy brain has forgotten someone, so to everyone that helped in every way, please know that you are loved and appreciated!

Christmas Festival This Weekend!

danta landDid you notice that Santa Land has a new location this year? A big round of applause goes to Brandy Collins, Becky Ottens, Toni Black, Kristin & Brandon Sneath, and Tre & Trevor Jones for doing such a great job setting up everything in Liggett Park. Be sure and join us Friday night at 6pm for some candlelight caroling, the crowning of the festival’s Snow King and Snow Queen and the official lighting of Santa Land. This event is sponsored by Biehler Tree Farm.

After the lighting of Santa Land, warm up next door at the VFW, play some Bingo, and have some hot chocolate and special Christmas snacks and treats.

The weather is looking like it’s going to be nice this weekend, so bring the family out for Breakfast with Santa sponsored by the PEO, from 8 am – 10 am. After talking with the Big Guy and eating some reindeer pancakes, you can walk off your breakfast calories at the Reindeer Run 5k and Obstacle Course which kicks off at 10 am.

We’ve got some new additions to the evening festivities this year based on our “Hillbilly Kick” theme. Downtown we have two games: Toilet Tennis and the Toilet Seat Stomp. At Mrs. Claus’ Market, we’ll be accepting entries for the Hillbilly Smackdown, a contest for hillbilly themed crafts and edible treats.

Bring the family out this weekend and enjoy all the fun things we have planned. See our ad in the Times this week for a schedule of events or check out the event’s Facebook page: Herington Annual Holiday Festival.