September big month for chamber
De Soto Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Ritter is bracing for a busy month.
The chamber has four events scheduled for September, including its two top fund-raisers.
The month of activities will start with an afternoon of golf. The chamber's fall golf networking day will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the nine-hole Burning Tree Golf Course north of the Wyandotte Street Bridge.
Two days later, the chamber will have its monthly luncheon starting at 11:30 a.m. at the De Soto USD 232 central office, 35200 W. 91st St. Presaging another chamber event for later in the month, the Kansas Speedway will sponsor the event.
The program will include a presentation from the school district representatives on the $104.6 million bond referendum on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The next event will be a new twist on an old concept. For the past three years, the chamber has had a musical fund-raiser with music provided by choirs or opera singers.
This year, the music and the atmosphere will be decidedly less formal as the chamber will have its Blues and BBQ from 5 to 10 p.m. Sept. 23 at Zimmerman's Kill Creek Farm.
"Admittance will be free. We want this to be a community event," Ritter said, adding that it would be great if those attending brought an appetite for the barbeque prepared by Morse's Market. Meals will be $10 in advance and $15 at the event.
The silent auction that has been part of past musical fund-raisers will be joined by a live auction at the Blues and BBQ event, Ritter said.
"We got a lot of interesting stuff for the silent auction," she said. "We have speedway tickets, Chiefs tickets, baskets and collectibles."
Helping with the meal with be students from the Olathe school district's culinary arts class, which is taught by Steven Tatley, Ritter said. Tatley is the husband of chamber member and Our Future Child Care owner Stephanie Tatley, Ritter said. The chamber is also working with the De Soto district about getting the Eudora culinary arts class and its De Soto students involved, she said.
Providing music for the event will be the Jimmy Nickelsen Band with Cotton Candy, the stage name of Annetta Washington. Washington is a founding member of the Kansas City Blues Society and was the first woman inducted into the city's Elder Statesmen of Jazz.
The month's final event will be the annual Chamber Day at the Kansas Speedway. The Sept. 29 event will draw more than 20 metropolitan area chambers, Ritter said.
"It's a great networking event," she said. "There will be 1,200 in the pavilion. We've had a lot of people make great contacts there."
Last year, the De Soto Chamber of Commerce won $200 from the speedway for getting the second-highest percentage of its members to the event.
"We want to be first this year," Ritter said.