Chamber Chatter: 2016 year in review – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Chamber Chatter: 2016 year in review

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce had a busy year welcoming new businesses to the community. Ribbon cuttings were held at AG Choice, Keepsake Jewelry, Auburn Pharmacy, Osage City Library’s new addition, Designs by Diane, Higher Power Health and Yoga, McCoy’s Steren Electronics, and That Other Place.

After Hour Mixers

Throughout the year, a few of the Osage City Chamber of Commerce members hosted an After Hours Mixer showcasing their business. Members enjoyed the hospitality of Edward Jones Investments, Lusk Properties, COF Training Services, H and H Appraisal, and Flint Hills Beverage.

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 27th annual Kansas Sampler Festival was held in Winfield on May 7-8, 2016. It was the next to last year that the festival will be in existence with the 28th and final year to be held in Winfield again next year.

Chamber Scholarships

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce were pleased to announce Kailyn Robert and Joseph Schemm were the 2016 recipients of our $250 scholarship. Kailyn, daughter of Michelle and Quintin Robert, will be attending Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa, and Joseph, son of Cheryl and Douglas Schemm, will be attending Kansas State University in the fall. The revenue from the $5 that sellers pay to be listed on the maps for the spring and fall garage sales goes directly for these two scholarships.

Osage County Fair

The Osage County Fair Board worked very diligently to have the 2016 Osage County Fair be one of the best fairs so far.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored several events this year at the fair. The annual parade was the first event sponsored by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce.  The theme for the parade this year was “Remember When”; it was held June 30, 2016.  Chandra Dunbar, parade chairman, coordinated a variety of entries including the Boy Scout flag bearers, police fleet, parade marshal, Mr. and Mrs. Osage City, floats, Osage County Fire District No. 2, bands, politicians, horses, and more.

July 1 was a busy day for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce.  Among other events and activities that took place throughout the evening, the Chamber sponsored several events.  The 35th Infantry Division Band Kansas Army National Guard Rock Band performed in the evening. The band consists of a 10-member group that plays all eras of music, enjoyed by all ages.  Later, Chamber of Commerce business members held a business fair for an hour of fun with the families. Businesses were asked to have a small event that the kids or families could visit and do as they learn more about their products and services.

Winding down the evening, the Chamber showed an outdoor screening of “The Sandlot”.  Ball teams were encouraged to get together and come as a team. TJ McCoy, of  McCoy’s Electronics, provided the projection and the sound for the show. The movie was sponsored by Heartsakes Jewelry.  Thank you to these sponsors for making this activity possible.

Osage County Parade Honorees

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce was pleased to announce the 2016 Mr. and Mrs. Osage City was Dave and Tara Azwell.  The 2016 parade marshal was Arlo Bell.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce Festival of Beer 

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce 4th Annual Festival of Beer fundraiser was held on Sept. 24, 2016, at the Osage City Community Building. Bryton Stoll entertained the crowd, Saucy Lady BBQ sold food outside, and a great time was had by all! The beer fest has turned into a great event for local folks as it allows all to sample several Kansas breweries and many regional and national brews.

Christmas on Market Street – Legends, Rails and Jingle Bells

Christmas on Market Street 2016 was a successful event. Santa arrived at the airport which he descended from the skies and greeted a crowd of anxious children. All of the events, including the 5K Run/Walk, Kiwanis pancake breakfast, Twin Lakes Cruisers downtown sound system fundraiser luncheon, Pride auction, Friends of the Library table settings and Christmas collections, Senior Center Sewing Chics, Living Nativity, Retail Poker Run, emergency services showcase, craft show, gingerbread building/Santa visit, chili cook-off, chili feed, raffle drawing, and lighted parade were well received and attended.  Proceeds from the activities are divided between the Chamber, Osage City Warmth Fund, ECAT and ECKAN.

Annual Chamber Mixer

Due to inclement weather, the annual Chamber Mixer was cancelled. The membership will decide whether to reschedule the event.

2017 Membership Drive – New and Renew

The Chamber’s membership reached a total of 71 members in 2016.  Chamber Executive Director Jeanette Swarts would like to see the memberships surpass 2016 and also the attendance grow at the member meetings. This year, mark the third Tuesday of each month on your calendar to attend the Osage City Chamber of Commerce member meeting.  The meeting starts at noon at the Flint Hills Beverage hospitality room. A light lunch is always provided (members can pay at the time or in advance) and the meetings last approximately an hour. The Chamber of Commerce needs the support of the members to make Osage City a better community.

The membership drive is on its way to a promising year for 2017 members. The drive is continuing and if you have not yet joined, please consider the opportunities to grow your business and connect with the community, and send in your membership now. We would also like to encourage existing members to invite potential new members.

For more information about becoming a member, email:, see, or call 785-219-2510.

We welcome all members’ suggestions and comments, and appreciate your confidence and support in the Chamber and our programs. Thank you for your investment as we work together to put business in motion.

Officers and Directors

2017 Chamber officers are Don Shaw, president; Erick Punches, vice president; Diane Michael, secretary; and Jan Ogleby, treasurer.

2017 Chamber Board of Directors are Jim Lohmeyer, Jodi Smith, Jodi Stark, andPatrick Gardner. Executive director is Jeanette Swarts.

2017 Committees

  • Annual Banquet – board members
  • Nominating – Casey Mussatto, Joe Humerickhouse, Thelma Humerickhouse
  • Budget – Robyn Williams, Casey Mussatto, Jan Ogleby
  • Membership – Jeanette Swarts, Jan Ogleby
  • Scholarship and Garage Sales – Jodi Smith
  • Kansas Sampler – Dave and Tara Azwell, Wayne White
  • Summer Concessions – Jeanette Swarts
  • Fair Parade/Christmas Parade – Diane Michael
  • Beer Fest – Jim Lohmeyer, Becky  Siljenberg, Jodi Stark, and many volunteers
  • Christmas on Market Street – Jeanette Swarts, Jan Ogleby
  • Website – Jeanette Swarts, Wayne White
  • Facebook – Jeanette Stromgren, Jeanette Swarts
  • Advertising and Signage – Casey Mussatto, Rod Willis, Dave Azwell, Joe Humerickhouse, Jim Lohmeyer.

For more information about the Osage City Chamber of Commerce email:, see, or call 785-219-2510.

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