Despite the bitterly cold night, a huge crowd of area business people. local government officials and volunteers turned out for the annual Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce banquet Wednesday night.
I enjoyed the evening with several co-workers and welcomed the chance to mingle with other Chamber members. It was the first time that I had attended anything other than a livestock show in the new events center/show arena at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. It was nicely decorated and a perfect venue for this large group.
The culinary arts students from Iowa Central Community College prepared a whole hog for the event, along with some tasty sides. The students and Chef Michael Hirst delivered plates of food to our tables and then tempted us all with some very yummy desserts.
Those attending had a chance to purchase some rubber duckies which coincided with a number connected to donated prizes from local businesses.
The 40-some new chamber members, many of them new business owners, were welcomed and honored, as were those who had been members for 25 years or more. That was a pretty impressive sight to have all of those folks standing in front of the crowd.
The theme for the night was "Stir It Up" and the keynote speaker, Dave "The Shef" Sheffield certainly got the crowd revved up. His high energy presentation focused on keeping your head on while working hard. He talked about how attitude can affect employees and customers and urged those in attendance to not wait to pursue their passions.
I think 2013 was a fairly amazing year for the Chamber of Commerce. There were new businesses, new programs and promotions, and best of all, a new sense of community spirit. I've heard many visitors mention that spirit. That's something that not every rural community can claim. And I don't think we give our town enough credit for all of the great things we've got going on. Perhaps when you see these things everyday, it's easy to forget that Webster City really is a friendly, generous little town.
So, for 2014, I hope we continue to see that growth and strength in our business community. Sure, we've had some setbacks in the past few years, but look at all of the brave entrepreneurs who are following their dreams and opening new businesses.
I have this feeling that good things in Webster City will continue to happen and we can all do our part by supporting local business, keeping a strong sense of community and working together to build for the future.