Chamber Chat: Christmas on Market spirit-of-giving tradition continues

Cathryn Houghton, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

Originally this article had an entirely different heading. This article originally was titled “Will our Christmas on Market tradition continue?

Christmas on Market – Nov. 22, 2014

I posed the question because until just a few days ago, no Chamber member had stepped forward to be the overall chair of this massive event that Mandy Gibson and Robyn Williams co-chaired for 12 years. Several leaders had stepped up to organize functions that occur in conjunction with the Christmas Opener. These included the 5K run/walk, the merchant shopping card, window judging, letter writing, and chili feed. It’s reassuring to know seasoned and experienced leaders are in charge of these events, including Jodi Stark, Robyn Williams, Corey Linton, Casey Karnes, Ashley Hards, and their respective staff.

Now, with gratitude, I tip my hat to the Relaxation Station ladies who enthusiastically declared “We would like to do overall chair for the event!” And immediately the brainstorming started! I use exclamation marks to reflect the lightning ideas sparking between Shannon Stevens and Hannah Buenger. When I left the conversation, they were discussing filling our downtown area – no everywhere – with loads and loads of decorated Christmas trees of all types! From the stores, to the floats, to the windows, to sidewalks, to the parks! Involving businesses, organizations, and schools!

But still without a leader at the helm was the Spirit of Giving Craft Show. More relief was forthcoming. That same day, when I arrived home there was a message from Janet Kramer Bosworth confirming she would organize and manage the craft show one more year.

Even with each element of the Nov. 22 event covered, the planning and organization leading up to a successful full day of Christmas on Market and the Spirit of Giving takes an enormous amount of time. Every detail of each event must be ticked off the list; and like Santa’s list it must be checked twice. Mountains of details must be attended: arranging with officials for road closing, alerting the railroad, and contacting crafters. Gathering raffle items, getting the raffle tickets out and sold, and running the raffle is another big under taking. Designing and dispersing advertising posters, advertising … aaah, and the chili cook-off.

In the past, the Chamber was very fortunate to have the same volunteers manage these events for several years running. I think of the Geese Story: Knowing lead geese get tired, new fresh geese automatically fly forward into formation, allowing the original leaders to fall back for a rest. Hats off to Relaxation Station for uplifting and relieving the tired geese!

Chamber Bucks = $$$

Ashley Hards, Chamber treasurer, sends the reminder, “Chamber Bucks are now in business check form and have an expiration of one year from issuance date.”

Ashley continues: “The Chamber introduced the new Chamber Bucks during the 2012 Christmas Opener and will continue to accept the old Chamber Bucks as well. Call me if you have questions. 785-528-3112, Landmark National Bank.”

Chamber Bucks can be spent at all Osage City businesses, just like cash. Businesses can run them as a check and deposit at their respective banks or redeem the Chamber Bucks at Landmark National Bank for cash. Chamber Bucks are redeemable dollar for dollar. A minimum of $5 must be spent locally.

The Chamber encourages all local business to accept the Chamber bucks (checks) in good faith.

Bright idea: One of our Chamber members said he was sending Osage City Chamber Bucks as an item for an out of town function. Good thinking!

Chamber officers 

Osage City Chamber officers include Tara Azwell, vice president; Ashley Hards, treasurer; Cathryn Houghton, secretary and executive director. The board of directors includes the officers and J.D. Lohmeyer, Robyn Williams, Jodi Stark, Dee Robert.

For more information, contact the Osage City Chamber of Commerce at PO Box 56, Osage City, KS, 785-528-4711 or 785-249-2153, or visit www.osagecitychamber.com.


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