Next year marks Indiana’s bicentennial, and the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce is getting involved in celebrating it, with board members hearing about local efforts at the monthly meeting Feb. 4.
Kristi Martin, chamber executive assistant, stated she and Becky Brower with the Syracuse Public Library attended a meeting in regards to county-wide efforts to celebrate the bicentennial. However, since then, efforts have went toward creating a local group to plan activities in the Syracuse area, rather than just in the Warsaw area.
Chamber President Chad Jonsson, who is involved in that bicentennial planning group, stated he was expecting more guidance from the state, such as a common theme, but instead, everyone is being given free rein to do whatever they want.
Martin said, “We want to expand past the center of the county.” She noted some plans include planting blue and gold flowers in the parks and incorporating the bicentennial into existing events, plus potentially adding an reenactment.
A full report was also given on the chamber awards banquet. Sylvia Gargett, who chaired the banquet committee, said there were 179 reservations and nine purchased tables, a chamber record. The silent auction also proved successful. Executive Director Tammy Cotton added the night brought a total profit of more than $7,000.
Winterfest was well received for its first year with a nice crowd turning out to all its activities, according to Syracuse Town Manager Henry DeJulia. There are plans to gradually expand the event each year, such as turning the 5K into an actual race, adding ice boat races and building up the ice carving event.
Cotton added more than $1,000 was raised through the polar plunge event held during Winterfest; all those proceeds will benefit Boomerang Backpacks.
Two new events are in the works for Syracuse. The first, Paint and Sip, is tentatively slated for March and will be like a wine and canvas event, only the chamber hopes to offer beer from Mancave Brewery. Details for this event are still in the works.
The second event will be a festival revolving around the Navy SEALs’ jumps July 24-25. During the event, there will be a golf outing at Maxwelton Golf Club, where the SEALs will also do a jump. Then Saturday, there will be more jumps at Oakwood Resort with tandems being offered as part of a SEAL fundraiser.
In other chamber news:
- The chamber board approved a bid from SpectraPrint to print the chamber’s 2015-2016 membership directory.
- A search will be led to fill a newly vacated seat on the chamber board.
- • Efforts are being made to link various county websites — such as the Syracuse chamber’s with the Kosciusko County CVB’s, town of Syracuse’s, city of Warsaw’s, etc. — together.
- Thorne Insurance Morton Agency of Warsaw joined as a chamber member.
- Officers for 2015 will be Jonsson as president, Tricia Small as vice president and Chip Erwin as treasurer.
- The chamber has had its first team sign up to participate in its June 17 golf outing. Currently, the chamber has a early bird special that will run until sometime in May.
Next chamber meeting is at noon March 4 in the chamber office.