Did you miss the February 12 breakfast hosted by the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC)? Here’s a recap including links to help you connect with local businesses and organizations.
Amy Warren, a Bluffton High School senior and future music education major at Bluffton University, got things started with a half hour of music. Amy not only takes lessons at Krysti’s Music Studio, she is also a student music teacher.
We were introduced to three new businesses on Main Street. Chamber CEO Fred Steiner presented the owners with their first dollar and president Phil Zimmerly gave them brooms to help keep our sidewalks tidy. The newcomers are:
- Dr. Matthew Ellerbrock of Ellerbrock Spine and Soft Tissue
- Karen Fredritz of Bluffton Barbers
- Rachel Davis of Studio Silhouette, a consignment formal wear and alterations shop
Among member announcements, Randy Keeler introduced a new summer event that will be hosted by the Bluffton Family Recreation Center prior to the summer Olympics in Brazil. The village will have its own Bluffton Community Olympics with events such as inner tube races, sand volleyball, horseshoes, corn hole, and a running event. Randy invited adults to form teams and to sign up as volunteers.
Esther Birkey from the Bluffton Public Library passed out invitations to the Family Connections Coffee Morning on February 25th, which will connect families with experts in childcare and child development. Pat Sheidler of the Friends of the Bluffton Public Library put out the word that book donations are being accepted for the spring book sale.
The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs announced two Hands-On Workshops to help businesses create or improve their websites. Web developer Ryan Lowry gave a preview of the sessions to be held on February 19 and 25.
The morning’s main program featured Dr. Justin Kantner of Family Eye Care. Justin will be leaving Bluffton to serve as a missionary in Paraguay. With his wife Elya and son Caleb, Justin will be living with the Guarani, an indigenous people who have become subsistence farmers.
According to Justin, there’s been a wide range of reactions to the news that the family will be living in a jungle in Paraguay. He says he’s never had more hugs than in the past year but that some people can’t understand his decision to leave what he calls his “dream job” and his home town of Bluffton.
The presentation made it clear that Justin and Elya share a strong faith and calling to do mission work. He came to realize that they could not wait until a “more convenient” time in their lives. The Kantners will be joining a community of 12 families who are in Paraguay to build and equip a church. The optometrist will also bring eye care and glasses to people who have never had them before. With the help of Dr. Mark Yoder and an inventor, he will even have equipment to make glasses.
As with many of the chamber programs, it was exciting to learn about the Kantners’ plans firsthand. Next month, Bluffton resident Brion Rhodes will talk about his new job as the Allen County Engineer.