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Continuing my tradition

November 22, 2018

This will be my 18th Thanksgiving week column in The Telegram and we will renew the Thanksgiving tradition of giving thanks in this space.

As is always the case, the hundreds of Chamber volunteers who’ve given us their time and talent this year are top of the “gratitude list” for 2018. There is quite literally no Chamber of Commerce, no program of work, no accomplishments, no community development progress, without those people who invest themselves in their community through the framework provided by this organization. Volunteers give thousands of hours to Chamber events, to specific projects or programs, to committees working on a variety of issues, or to help in numerous other ways that make the Chamber work. Columbus Days doesn’t exist without them, progress on transportation or workforce development doesn’t happen without them, and on and on it goes.

Leading that charge is the Chamber Board of Directors, which provides the vision and leadership that any organization needs to continue. I can’t say enough about the quality of this group, both now and historically. They work for the Chamber without putting self-interest in front of the bigger picture, they share their wisdom and skill-sets with us, they represent their fellow members, and we’ve had the very best of our community’s leaders sit on that Board for decades.

Speaking of leadership, last night at the Columbus Area Business Hall of Fame Banquet we celebrated six people who have provided leadership in a variety of settings for Columbus. The Hall of Fame inductees Emiel Christensen, J.C. Echols, and Christ Wunderlich were business leaders who pursued different professions but impacted Columbus in their own unique way. Last night’s award-winners Mike Fleming, Sharee Jedlicka, and Deb Potter carry on the legacy of servant leadership that has simply made Columbus what it is today. For that we should all be grateful.

The Columbus Area Chamber is deeply grateful to more than 800 businesses, organizations and individuals who have chosen to become members. By combining our efforts, all of us together make an impact on our common mission to improve quality of life and enhance the opportunity for business to succeed.

So again, the Chamber says thanks…to all those listed above and the many more who aren’t.

Being Thanksgiving week means we’re ready to kick off the holiday shopping season. We’ve told you about the Columbus Holiday Giveaway that kicks off with bonus Columbus Bucks Saturday morning on Small Business Saturday. For every $100 you buy we’ll give you $10 more to encourage you to shop local for the holidays. Because of the overwhelming response to the promotion, we limit the incentive to $50 and only two purchases per household. You can see the list of participating merchants on the Chamber website or Facebook page and we’d encourage you to “Shop Small” on Saturday to get 20-percent more buying power!

Santa arrives at 1 p.m. Saturday and that’s always a highlight of the holiday season in Columbus. He’ll be listening to Christmas wishes the rest of the afternoon.

All of us at the Columbus Area Chamber wish your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and we look forward to seeing you Saturday!

K.C. Belitz is the president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

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