Last Tuesday, the Chamber’s Annual Banquet was held.

As the evening began, those that attended took the opportunity to connect with familiar faces and introduce themselves to new ones. Our current president, Carrie Colburn, took to the podium to share her goals for 2020. Colburn shared how her family has grown to love this community through connections that have been made over the years. She went on to challenge the audience to step out of their comfort zone and connect with someone new and to strengthen current relationships. Continuing to build partnerships for the betterment of the entire community will only make York that much more attractive to new businesses and residents to the community.

Last fall, the Chamber hosted our inaugural “Let’s Connect” event. We were thrilled with the strong turnout and we gained fantastic tools that enable us to put together more meaningful connection events. From that meeting, our team got to work on how to move forward. We used the information and put together a compiled list of ideas and worked together with our board of directors to determine our focus for each new connection event.

In just a few short weeks, we will host “Let’s Connect” on Feb. 11 at York’s Holthus Convention Center. We have chosen the time of 9–10:30 a.m., because we want to make events available to those in various industries. The hospitality industry typically is unable to attend functions that are held over the lunch hour and that is one of the factors that lead us to choose this time. Our topic this month will be Marketing for Your Business and For York. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with other Chamber members and share ideas and strategies that have worked for them and also some that have not. Through these conversations, we hope to gain knowledge and encouragement. It is our desire that businesses/organizations bring their team members to this event. So much can be gained by sharing with several people. We are committed to keeping the “Let’s Connect” events manageable in cost. Because of this, we are able to offer a complimentary admission for one team member per organization, with additional reservations $10/person. Reservations can be made by emailing us at kristiner@yorkchamber.org or call us at 402-362-5531.

Before we know it, the 2020 York Home and Garden Show will kick off at 2 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 14. The Holthus Convention Center will be filled from corner to corner with vendors. The show will be open until 7 p.m., on that Friday. We will reopen the show on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8 a.m., and it will go until 2 p.m. There are a few features of our show that will still be very present. The Chamber Ambassadors and Chamber Board of Directors will be patrolling the parking lots in golf carts that are provided by Klein’s Blue River Power & Rental. The shuttles will bring you from your vehicles to the front doors of the convention center. We will also be happy to shuttle attendees back to their vehicles when they are finished with visiting all of the booths. The on-site food vendor will be Valentino’s Pizza. This will be the second year for Brandon and his crew at the show and they are looking forward to serving everyone again this year. We invite you to come on out and visit with our vendors: York General, York Ace Hardware, Patina Studios, Klein’s Blue River Power, Rental & Trailers, Friesen Landscaping, Critel Enterprises LLC, Penner Bathing Spas, Midlands Home Solutions, Trees2Products, Golden Rule Contractors, Gloystein Dirtwork, J&R Heating and Air, Hot Tub Brokers, Kramer’s Kurbing LLC, Blue River Area Board of Realtors, Waddell & Reed, Kliewer Auction Services LLC, Diamond Blasting, York Sprinkler Systems, Nutrition Services, Cellular Advantage, Thrasher, Midwest Sheets, York State Bank, Pampered Chef, Bristol Windows, Cornerstone Bank, Advanced Satellite LLC, Kitchen Tune-Up, Kurtzer’s Walker Mowers - DeBoer Outdoor Power, Champion Windows, Knight Construction Inc, Tillotson Enterprises, Closet Masters, State Farm Insurance, Culligan, Jensen Lumber, Kinetic by Windstream, Rebath, Advance Services Inc, Union Bank & Trust, Prairie State Construction / Lemonds Siding & Window, Ratzlaff Farms, Air1 Duct Cleaning, Henderson State Bank, York Promotional Products, Easy Lawn Care, LeafFilter North, LLC, York Heating & Air, Big Red Communications, Easy Lawn Sprinklers, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Geneva Implement Company Inc., Midwest Bank, Bath Planet Nebraska, SHELF Genie, Miller Seed & Supply, Girls Scout Troop #20577, Better Business Bureau, Callahan Chiropractic, Emris International, Fibrenew Lincoln, Four Corners Health Department, Funk Medical & Mobility, Mahoney House Assisted Living, Nebraska Medical Mart, Palmer-Scheffel Monument Co, Progressive Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Clinic, Wanda’s Kitchen and York County Aging Services.

York High School FFA students will have the griddle fired up early on Saturday, Feb. 15. Beginning at 8 a.m., they will be serving pancakes during their annual pancake feed. We wanted to give a special thank you to Huddle House and CVA for assisting with pancake feed. Donations are being accepted for York High School FFA. Students utilize the funds to help offset programming and travel costs. I am often asked what an appropriate donation amount is for functions such as this. I tell them that it is customary to donate what you would normally spend at a restaurant. I encourage everyone to come out to the Home Show on Saturday morning to support the FFA. The pancakes are delicious and your donations will be greatly appreciated.

Closing out the month of February, York’s Young Professionals will host “Leap into Summer” on Saturday, Feb. 29. Celebrate this EXTRA DAY in February playing summer yard games indoors. All are invited to this family friendly event. Young Professionals will provide the pizza, you just need to bring a side dish/snack. All those attending are asked to bring their own beverages. Cost is free to members of Young Professionals and only $5 for non-members. Children are free! As an added benefit, the Chamber is now able to accept Venmo.

As you begin to think about March, keep in mind the annual Youth Involvement Fair will take place on Thursday, March 19. Registrations are coming in from area organizations and the LEGO League will once again showcase their talents to all who are attending. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more details soon.

I challenge you all to connect with your neighbor or connect with someone new. It is out of these connections that we have opportunities to strengthen our business, support our youth and grow our community. #whatsyoury

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