Small Business Saturday plans are underway and we’re all pretty excited.  Chardy Magnett, Catherine, and myself have been busy getting ready, be sure and mark November 24 on your calendars.  A big thank you to Bri Peterson of Mid-Kansas Dance for the use of her building on that day.  All our members who do not have a brick and mortar location, will be set up in that space.  Chris with Dopey Mixes will be featuring his dips and rubs along with new Chamber member Michelle Pruitt with Paparazzi Jewelry and myself with Perfectly Posh have already committed with more coming on every day.  Any non profit that would like to have a fundraiser during the event can contact the Chamber office or Chardy for details.  We will be accepting non Chamber businesses as well if space allows for $20 and a donation of $10 in product.

A Taste of Home food truck will be set up and we’ll be doing drawings for Local Bucks and handing out the cute canvas bags and all sorts of other fun stuff is in the works.

Be sure and keep an eye on the Think Local First Facebook page as we revive the much loved game “Where’s …..”  This year, we’ll be playing “Where’s Floyd?”  Floyd the Lucky Puppy will be visiting local businesses and each day his picture will appear on our Think Local First Facebook page.  Guess where he is every day for another entry.  On Small Business Saturday, we’ll do a drawing from all the correct guesses and the winner will receive a gift basket filled with goodies from local businesses.  So far the basket has $20 in gift certificates from A Taste of Home, some dips and BBQ sauce from Dopey Mixes, some great hair care products from Kristi Lovett’s Monat, and of course some Perfectly Posh.   Any Chamber business that would like to contribute to the prize basket can contact Catherine or myself.

Let’s keep our community strong and vibrant and do as much of our Christmas shopping from local businesses as we can.

Dynamic Duo in the House!

The Chamber’s Dynamic Duo is official!

Monday, Catherine Stinnett joined the Chamber staff as our Member Relations/Events Coordinator. Catherine and her family moved to Herington the first time in February of 2013. In June of 2014, they left Herington for Bakersfield, California to take care of her husband’s mother.  Fortunately for our lovely community, she and her family returned to Herington this year after the loss of her mother-in-law. Catherine graduated from Manhattan Christian College with a degree in Business and Ethics and has been in sales and management for the last fourteen years.  Catherine is most excited about getting out to meet all of the Chamber members and the community and being of service to the community she now calls home.

Catherine’s has a full house that includes her husband Darrell, three sons, a daughter, a sister, two grandchildren, a dog, and four cats. Catherine is also a member of the Herington Planning Board and will be joining the Herington Convention and Visitor’s Board.  She is also an active member of the First Baptist Church and has been an individual Chamber member since they returned to our area.

Catherine’s duties will entail coordinating with Chamber members to asses their needs as well as organizing Chamber events.

The position of Bookkeeper at the Chamber was offered to Wendy Jones.  Wendy has a strong background in the Chamber, serving as the Executive Director for 3 years from 2013 to 2016.  Her position will handle all financial duties and she will also bring her skills as a graphic designer and social media marketer to the office.

A trial schedule is as follows: the Chamber office will be open from 10 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday with Catherine working on Monday and Tuesday and Wendy on Thursday and Friday.  Both ladies will work on Wednesday with Catherine using that day to be out on the streets visiting members.

Fall is in the Air

Fall is here with a vengeance and I love it!  All the fall and Halloween decorations in Kay’s Pharmacy and Flowers by Vikki and Miss Lizzy’s makes my heart happy.  So do the pumpkins in front of Barnes Heartland Foods and all the warm and fuzzy clothes in Backroads Gifts and Apparel.

You always know its autumn when Dawn starts making soups again; and if you haven’t tried her baked potato soup you are missing out!  Speaking of soups, Becky over in the Barnes deli is making soups too; my favorite there is the Santa Fe chicken soup. By the way, if you aren’t following Becky’s BBQ Mermaid account on Instagram, you should be.  I go back and forth between laughing and drooling at all the great food.

Another sign of fall is when First Baptist Church starts back with their Wednesday night AWANA program.  They better hurry up and finish that new sanctuary before they outgrow their current one; they had 87 kids in attendance last week!  Did you know that churches could be Chamber members?  FBC Herington is one of two churches in our area that are members, along with Iglesia Templo La Hermosa Billingual Church.

We have a nice list of upcoming events to keep us busy this fall like Woodbine’s Fall Festival on October 20, the Trunk or Treat in Herington on Halloween, A Taste of Home’s Grand Opening Celebration on October 27, and the American Legion’s Ham & Bean supper on Veterans Day.

Here at the Chamber, we’re starting to make plans for Small Business Saturday.  There will be the usual games and prizes along with some new activities this year.  Keep an eye on our Think Local First Facebook page for more details coming.

Big congratulations and well wishes to Ryan Stevenson and Dani Jackson owners of The Herbal Emporium and Hair Gypsy who tied the knot this weekend.  I am so happy for you both!

Chamber Office is Tourism Stop

Did you know that the Chamber office is also the Tourism office for the City of Herington? All of Herington’s brochures and tourism websites list our contact information and we take several calls every week looking for information on the motel, campground, and upcoming events.

Right after I started back in this office, I received a call from a gentleman representing the Kansas Campers Association. They were planning on bringing in a large group to camp at Herington Lake. Over the course of a few weeks, I stayed in touch with them, giving them information that they needed.

Another Visit Herington Tourism board member helped me to stuff goodie bags for them with maps, coupons, flyers, and swag and I delivered those Friday evening. 

Herington Mayor David Jones attended their opening night ceremony and spoke to the group; welcoming them and thanking them for visiting.

During their stay, the 17 campers kept their receipts for local purchases and they gave them to me before they left. $1,316.46 was the total.

You read that right: 17 campers spent $1,316.46 in our community!  Over the course of the weekend they spent $402.71 at AmPride (NOT including the gas they spent on the way out), $263.99 at The Spot & Dining Car, $131.49 at Barnes Heartland Foods, $103.84 at Miss Lizzy’s Emporium & Flea Market, $104.20 at Sweet Creations, $80 at Herington Inns & Suites, $59 at Herington Historical Society & Museum, $55.85 at The Twisty Shoppe, $43 at the Herington Municipal Hospital’s Bake Sale and Chili Feed, $36.88 at Kay’s Pharmacy, $20 at El Vera Cruz, and $15.08 at Dollar General.

They also raised $158 through a silent auction and love offering that they donated to a local charity. After telling them about several, they chose to give their donation to the Friends Helping Friends group.