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.

Fun Times in the Community

There are a lot of fun things going on this Sunday.  The Herington Country Club is having their last tournament of the season and Friends Helping Friends is having a fundraising meal starting at 11:30 and going until they run out of food.  Knowing how fantastic Mark’s cooking is, it won’t last long.  He says he’s making beef and pork!  I’ll have to get mine to go, because I’m heading over to the Herington Community Building to start setting up for the HMH Foundation Quarter Mania.

I love Quarter Auctions.  They are one of those things that are hard to explain with words, but all you have to do is watch one round and you totally get it!  There is shopping from a variety of vendors, good snacks and drinks, and you can bid on and win great prize baskets for as little as a quarter.

Besides the HMH Foundation, which is a Chamber member, we will have three other Chamber members participating. 

Come out and let Kristi Lovett show you how to solve your hair issues with Monat: thinning hair, dry or damaged hair, color treated hair, Monat can give your hair what it deserves. 

Dopey Mixes has the most scrumptious dip mixes, BBQ sauces, spices, meat rubs and more.  He’s going to have several for you to samples. 

Of course, no event is complete without that crazy, pink haired Posh Lady.  She can pamper you from head to toe with products made from the best stuff mother nature has to offer.

Grab some friends and a roll of quarters and come support the Hospital Foundation.  Paddles are $5 for one or 4 for $20.

Social Media Class a Success!

We had another great Social Media for Beginners class last week; everyone learned so much.  We have had a request for a class on using Word and/or Excel.  If anyone would be interested in that, please contact me here at the Chamber office.  If you have any other requests for training classes, let us know that as well.

quarter maniaThe date has been set for our next Quarter Mania event.  If you haven’t attended one, you really should, they are a ton of fun!  We’ll be partnering with the HMH Auxiliary again and the date is Sunday, September 20 at 3 pm.  I hope we see you all there!

As we roll into fall, more and more local organizations will be setting dates for events and fundraisers.  When doing that, be sure and check out the community calendar on the Chamber’s website to make sure that we don’t have important events at the same time.  The web address is tricountycofc.com

Fireworks Donation Checks!

We had a great morning here in the Chamber office last week when a representative from all of our fireworks stand volunteer groups gathered to receive their share of the proceeds.  The Chamber wrote checks totaling $1,463.90 to 6 different organizations: Beta Sigma Phi, Xi Gamma Epsilon chapter; the Family Resource Exchange; Herington Municipal Hospital Auxiliary; VFW Post 1281; Modified Dolls, Kansas Chapter; and Beta Sigma Phi, Preceptor Gamma Gamma chapter.   We want to thank all of these groups who volunteered!IMG_20150723_100915431

Saturday night, the last night of the fair, the Chamber had its Baa Baa Bingo event.  Thank you to everyone who bought a square and a big congratulations to Jerry Bailey who had the lucky square that Princess Baa Baa picked as a winner.  We also want to send thanks out to the lovely Susan Mueller for arranging for Princess Baa Baa to attend and pick our winner.IMG_20150713_150505448

We started numbering and tracking the Local Bucks issued by the Chamber in early 2013 and I am very excited to announce that this week we issued the $10,000 dollar of local bucks!  In less than three years, we have circulated more than $10,000 dollars through our communities with prizes, incentives, and gifts.  Thank you to all of the businesses who use Local Bucks as bonuses and Christmas gifts to their employees, to all our residents that buy it for gifts, and to all our local organizations that use it as contest prizes!  When we all do a little, we accomplish a lot!

$10k Local Bucks

Big Thanks to Many!

I would like to thank everyone that came out to the Chamber’s fireworks stand and supported our fundraising event!  The stand was a rousing success!  All of the proceeds from our stand will be going back into our communities. We had six groups that volunteered with us in the stand and will be receiving a percentage of our proceeds: the Family Resource Exchange, the Hospital Auxiliary, the VFW, both local chapters of Beta Sigma Phi, and the Modified Dolls.  Their help was greatly appreciated and it will be our pleasure to make donations to their groups.

IMG_20150629_150351230

It’s Tri-County Free Fair week.  If you see a member of the Fair Board, be sure and give them a pat on the back; they are working extremely hard to put on another great event that pulls people into our community.

This Saturday the Chamber will have our Baa Baa Bingo event. Previously it was Horse Apple Bingo, but this year we went with sheep.  Get your ticket from me or any Chamber board member and have a chance to win $500 in Local Bucks.

Do you ever wake up on a weekend and think “what should we do this weekend” or wonder what kind of fun events are going on?  Do you wonder “what day is the Tri-County Free Fair” and can’t find anyone that knows for sure?  You need to bookmark the Chamber’s website’s on line community calendar.

We work hard to try and make sure that we keep our calendar up to date with all the local groups and organizations’ events.  Take a second and check it out:  www.tricountycofc.com/calendar .

We want to send a big shout out to Miss Susan and the crew at the Herington Public Library for the fantastic job they are doing with Summer Reading.  The pictures of Supergirl visiting the first week are adorable and we were so excited to hear that 44 kids attended the second week!  Great job entertaining and informing the kids and showing them that heroes are all around us!

shelly library

Everyone please remember that the Chamber office will be closed from June 27 through July 5 during our annual fireworks stand fundraiser.  If you buy fireworks, please come out and support our tent. Our proceeds not only benefit the Chamber and all we do in the community, but also the volunteers at the fireworks stand are all working for donations to their organizations.  Last year we made donations in our volunteers’ names to the VFW, FRE, the American Legion and the American Legion Riders, the Roadhouse Youth Center, the HMH Auxiliary, and the Herington Fireworks Committee.