SYRACUSE — While bison were largely gone from Indiana by the time it entered statehood in 1816, the state still plans to include the animal predominately featured on its seal in the bicentennial celebration. It is doing so with fiberglass bison statues, which communities will then paint.
During the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce board meeting Wednesday, Feb. 3, chamber Executive Director Tammy Cotton and Assistant Director Kristi Martin shared information about the Bison-tennial Public Art Project and brought up the possibility of Syracuse bringing one to town. Each statue costs $1,500 and is 5 feet tall. Martin and Cotton noted local artists would showcase their talents on the statue, which would be finished off with an automotive clear coat. Both Warsaw and Winona Lake are participating in the project.
Board members mulled over possible locations for the bison, from different parks and in front of the police department/town hall to other town-owned properties and a privately owned property. Ideas for supporting the project included finding sponsors who would then have their logo somewhere on the bison.
More debate will occur in regards to participating in the project. The statue would be a bicentennial committee project under the umbrella of the chamber.
The chamber’s annual award banquet, Jan. 26, proved to be a success, receiving plenty of compliments on the food, location, networking opportunities and new method of picking the awards. Cotton added the silent auction also ran much smoother than in times past.
In all, the banquet brought in a net profit of more than $5,600 for the chamber.
Cotton also shared with board members the chamber would be joining a Biggest Loser initiative. Local businesses will be able to sign up teams under the chamber to encourage team members to shed pounds. The chamber will largely be promoting the initiative, with businesses signing up online.
She added the Nappanee Chamber of Commerce is also participating and suggested maybe starting a friendly competition.
In other chamber news:
• The chamber welcomed six new members: Russell Cellular — Verizon; The Lab LC LLC; Lake City Saver; M the Market; Lake City Builders; and Peterson’s Fish.
• Board members approved their directory contract with SpectraPrint. The 2016 directory will be shorter and thicker this year, which is on trend with other chambers.
• Board members also approved the chamber’s 2016 budget.
Next board meeting will be Wednesday, March 2, at the chamber office.