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Chamber Banquet falls victim to COVID-19

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel its annual banquet due to COVID-19 concerns

Chamber President Karma Schulte said Chamber officers decided, “it would not be in our best interest to have our annual Chamber of Commerce banquet in January.”

Even though the annual banquet won’t be held, the annual tradition of honoring businesses that have reached significant milestones will continue, Schulte said.

“We will still honor our business anniversaries. We honor businesses who have been with us for 25, 50, 75, 100 years and so on,” she said.

Schulte said special recognition for new members and deceased members will also be made.

Schulte is pleased with the way people worked together to get through such a tough year.

“This year has certainly been full of changes, disappointments and loss. I feel that the Hartington Chamber businesses have dealt with it all in a very innovative and positive way. Most of you have come up with ways to handle a very bad situation and make it work.”

Everyone had a lot to deal with in 2020, but everyone seems to have gotten through it, Schulte said.

“I feel that we have all gone above and beyond to support each other,” she said.

The terms of officers and several board members are also up this year, and an election needs to be held.

According to Chamber by-laws, Karen Flamig, as Vice President, will automatically become President and Schulte will become immediate past president.

The Chamber is seeking nominations for to fill Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, as well as four Board positions.

Current Treasurer Justin Kerkman, and Secretary Lee Carl have chosen not to seek another term on the Board.

Board of Director terms are for two years and outgoing directors have the option of being placed on the ballot for another term.

Anyone interested in one of these positions is asked to contact either Schulte or Flamig to get onto the ballot.

A brief meeting is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m., in the City Auditorium basement to hold the election.

Masks and social distancing will be required.

Schulte noted business owners are not the only ones who can run for the Chamber Board.

“If you have an employee that you feel would do a great job, talk to them about being nominated and placed on the ballot,” she said. “With doing most of our business by email now, there is really not a lot of work to any of these positions and basically no time away from your family.”

Anyone with questions is urged to contact one of the current Chamber officers.

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