Year ends on high note; 2014 off to good start

It is hard to believe that it has been six months since I started at the Chamber. It has been the busiest first six month of any job I have ever had, with the Fourth of July, Mud Plunge, Annual Dinner, and now Arctic Dash.

The special events, the Business After Hours, the Ribbon Cuttings. Busy yes, but also fulfilling. I have enjoyed the last six months of 2013 and I’m excited to see what the first 6 months brings for 2014.

As we enter the second half of December I want to remind you to “Shop Small- Shop Local” with the Chamber Holiday Punch Card.

As a reminder for any last minute Christmas Shopping that you do, any purchases that you make at a Chamber member’s business are eligible.

If you have been shopping locally since November 23, dig out your receipts and bring them into the chamber. We’ll punch the card for you. We love to hear all of the great things that you have been buying in our community.

If you are not sure if you are at a Chamber Business download the GINCC Directory App to your smart phone or check our online directory at

You have one week before the Dec. 23 deadline to bring the full cards (1 punch for every $10) to the Chamber Office for a chance to win Chamber Bucks.

This Thursday, join us in downtown Ishpeming for a “Division & Main Street Business After Hours,” visits with Santa, and a Live Nativity at the Butler Theater.

Make an evening of it, stop into Central Upper Peninsula Insurance and welcome them to the neighborhood, check out the great new facade at Bucks Restaurant and find the great deals to keep you warm and entertained this winter at Wilderness Sports.

These three businesses have done a great job joining together for this unique Business After Hours. Find refreshments, drinks, and great prizes.

This includes $400 value prize at Wilderness Sports for those who bring non-perishables or a cash donation to help the families in need through the Salvation Army.

When businesses join together to make our community better we can all be proud of where we live. After, you can walk a block down to visit Santa in his house by Old Ish Park and the Live Nativity in front of the Butler Theater.

Jumping into 2014, I’m excited to see the great happenings during the Irontown Associations Annual Heikki Lunta Winter Festival. Check out the Annual Fishing Derby that takes place on Teal Lake during the festival and see what you can reel in.

Not fishing? Join us in the Country Village for the Second Annual Arctic Blast Color Dash. The area’s first color run yooperstyle with snowshoes.

Also consider volunteering individually or with your nonprofit. The chamber is once again seeking chamber nonprofits to coordinate a color station.

What a great way to spend an afternoon- throw some colored powder at approximately 300 people and get money for your nonprofit at the same time.

Last year, 5 nonprofits provided their assistance with volunteers and received this support in return.

Registration is open for the Arctic Blast Color Dash. Find out the details at

Editor’s note: Kori Tossava is director of the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce.