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The featured speaker at the March 11 Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) breakfast said he expected to see maybe fifteen members. Surprise! With many more than the 60 RSVPs, folks lined the walls to hear what’s in the works for Bluffton.

The breakfast sponsor was Diamond Manufacturing and the Dough Hook did the cooking. Music was provided by the Oaks siblings–Jay, Drew, and Regan–who took turns playing the piano. Every month, Krysti and Phil Schey of Krysti’s Music Studio not only provide the talent for our meetings, they also muscle a good-sized keyboard up to the third floor of Town Hall each month. Thanks, you two!

SPECIAL PRESENTATION Next, we were treated to a reenactment of the swearing-in of Judge David Rodabaugh of the Lima Municipal Court. Dressed in black robes, Rodabaugh and Magistrate Richard Warren repeated the oath of office and then took questions from the floor. Both officials have Bluffton roots and were heartily cheered by the audience.

ANNOUNCEMENTS Among the morning’s announcements were two good reasons to go to the polls on March 15. Both the Bluffton Exempted Village Schools and the Bluffton Public Library have levy renewals on the ballot.

Fred Steiner, CEO of the BACC, announced that the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) in partnership with the chamber and The Centre at Bluffton, 601 N. Main St., will be hosting a business expo on March 24. The event is a chance to mix and mingle with area businesses as well as a celebration. The winners of the 2016 Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition will be announced during the event, which runs from 5-7 p.m.

A RIDE TO REMEMBER The main speaker for the morning was Bill Triplett, who presented plans for the second annual Ride to Remember on July 16. Bill explained that the cycling event honors his parents Ropp and Mary Em Triplett, who were strong supporters of the Bluffton Community Pedestrian and Bike Pathway. While Bill and his siblings no longer live in Bluffton, they are working with the Bluffton Lions Foundation to build on Ropp’s vision of Bluffton as a haven for bike riders.

The Ride to Remember encourages participants to remember Bluffton and the surrounding areas. With routes ranging from 2-100 miles, it will appeal to riders of all ages and abilities. Showing examples of similar rides that draw thousands of riders annually, Bill sees great potential in the event. He noted that last year’s participants enjoyed the countryside and flat terrain, which is great for recording personal best times.

Bill emphasized that the event will grow with our support. To help with preparations or to volunteer the day of the event, contact the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce or the Bluffton Lions Foundation.registrationTo participate in The Ride to Remember, you can register through the Bluffton Family Recreation website: REGISTER NOW.

In April, the chamber will host Kevin Haver, director of the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park district. Hope to see you there!