By Julie Ann Madden
Akron Area Chamber of Commerce members and guests noted the successes of area businesses at their annual banquet Saturday evening at the Akron Golf Course.
After a banquet meal, catered by Akron Jo’s Cafe, the crowd of about 45 was entertained by musician Michael Oetken, an Akron-Westfield alumnus who sang 1970s and 1980s hits.
There was no “passing of the gavel” from the current Chamber President Rodney Anderson to a new president as Vice-President Brenda Groon declined the presidency; therefore, Anderson will continue as the 2013 president.
In 2012, the Chamber held ribbon cuttings for Akron Lanes, which is now owned and operated by Tim and Amie Lovrien of Akron; and Larson Design Boutique, owned and operated by Alesia Larson of Akron.
Also recognized were Bob and Dara Witzka of Chatsworth who opened R & D Tire & Auto in Chatsworth; and new social members, Roger and Angela Price, owners of the Baker Mansion in rural Akron, S.D.
Other Chamber 2012 highlights were:
• The revised City of Akron website, which the Chamber pays one-third of its maintenance cost. City employees Nicolle DeRocher and Kourtney Nicholson maintain the website.
Website features include free advertising for Chamber members; a notification system to alert community members by text or email of such things as the closing of S.D. Highway 48; and a groups formation where people can create groups for online forums through the website.
• Annually the Chamber sponsors an Easter Basket Hunt, Farmer’s Markets in the Akron City Park, the Halloween Parade, a Thanksgiving Turkey/Ham Giveaway where Chamber members hold drawings and giveaway turkeys/hams or they choose to donate the meats to Mid-Sioux Opportunity Inc.’s Akron Food Pantry; and Santa Claus visits.
A new Chamber event this year was the return of the Watermelon Day celebration, which included a charity auction and watermelon feed.
Chamber event advertisements in the local newspaper contain a list of current Chamber members.
• Welcome Bags are presented to new Akron residents. The bags are filled with promotional items from Chamber member businesses and hand-delivered to new residents.
• At noon the first Thursday of each month, Chamber members meet at Akron Jo’s Cafe. They hold a meeting and enjoy dinner Dutch treat and a guest speaker presentation. Anyone wishing to be the guest speaker is asked to contact Chamber President Rodney Anderson at (605) 565-3168.
The Chamber’s Executive Board meets at noon the third Thursday of each month at the Akron Pizza Ranch.