Sorry you missed the chamber meeting! You can still connect with participating businesses and individuals: click on the links included below.

Recap readers know I’m a big fan of the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast meetings. Occasionally, I may grumble about getting up early. However, Friday’s meeting had me wide awake and tapping my toes, thanks to the music of Elaine Wehri. By day, Elaine is a mild-mannered real estate agent for Real Living CCR Realtors; by night–and occasionally the early a.m.–she’s an amazing polka-playing accordionist. With an electric bass-playing sidekick, Elaine quickly warmed up the room and earned several rounds of applause.

I was also cheered by the delicious biscuits, sausage gravy, and fruit salad served up by Christine Clymer of Devine Interventions. As our breakfast sponsor, Real Living footed the breakfast bill for 60+ attendees.

The April announcements gave us a heads up on a wide variety of events, invitations, and awards. Here’s just a sampling:

  • Nonnemaker Asphalt Sealcoating and Bluffton Hearing Center were welcomed by the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce as new members.
  • Susie Stratton of Stratton Greenhouses invited members to sponsor the large flower pots and hay rack planters that line Bluffton’s Main Street during the growing season. The Strattons donate watering services, which they do every other day!
  • Nearly $5 thousand in grants from the Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau were awarded to Bluffton events and organizations.

Upcoming events include:

The meeting’s main speaker was Kevin Haver, director of the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District of Allen County. Kevin gave us a great overview of how JAMPD is managed: a volunteer board of directors is appointed by a probate judge. We also learned what’s new at parks throughout Allen County.

In our neck of the woods, the park managers are discussing ways to connect the Motter Farm Park on Columbus Grove Road with the Bluffton Bike and Pedestrian Pathway. Interpretive signage has been designed for the Motter park and sponsors are needed to help support this project. Last year, prairie grasses were sowed on the property and more trails are being developed.

The newest park in the JAMPD system is the Hermon Woodlands Metro Park. Located at 485 N. Wapakoneta Road, Lima, this new park will be dedicated on May 14. Kevin told us the story of the benefactor who left half her estate to the park district. Though she came to live in California, she remembered her childhood home in Elida in her will. This bequest allowed for the purchase and development of Hermon Woodlands.

Hope you can join us next time for more news and networking in Bluffton!

The next Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held from 7-8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13. The breakfast is held on the third floor of the Village of Bluffton Town Hall, 154 N. Main St.

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