2014 off to good start

I hope that you enjoyed getting to know Ashley Geist (Marketing Coordinator) and Bob Hanson (Board President) over the last two articles. They both are great resources and are staunch advocates for the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the community in which we live.

Now that we are well into February the Arctic Blast Color Dash seems like a fading memory, but I did want to provide an updateon how it fared. Over 200 people came out to race, volunteer or cheer. In the midst of the 73 day cold snap, and the coldest January on record, we were happy to bring some color into the area. We are also happy to be providing each of the five nonprofit organizations that helped staff a color station with a donation of $250. We love this event because it allows us to support nonprofits, bring neighbors together and pull visitors to our area. The farthest participant that we had joined us from Traverse City; we hope she went home with stories of how Yoopers spend their winter.

I’m also excited to announce that we are working with other organizations to bring a unique event to the Ishpeming/Negaunee Area over the summer. Thanks to Straight Line Archery, Wawonowin Country Club and the Negaunee Rod and Gun Club for hosting the inaugural Ishpeming-Negaunee Sportsman’s Triathlon and Ironmen Challenge. We are ecstatic to work with these organizations and the previous coordinator for the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Triathlon (Naubinway, MI) to relocate this event to our area. The Triathlon will take place June 21 and 22 and consists of four-person teams competing in 3-D archery, trap shooting and nine holes of golf in a scramble format. The Ironmen Challenge runs the same weekend and includes more challenging 3-D archery and trap shooting and 18 holes of golf. In addition, the event includes several fun competition fundraisers including longest shot, x-factor pop-up archery and archery poker to benefit local and Michigan charities. This event is expected to bring sportsmen from throughout the Upper Peninsula, Lower Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. It will be a fantastic event for tourism in Western Marquette County.

Other events to remember include the U.P. Olive Oils & Vinegars (inside Smokehouse Glenn) Business After Hours on February 26. We encourage you to come down and check out the great new layout of Smokehouse Glenn’s, sample the olive oils and vinegars and find recipes. Even try vinegar on your ice-creamdark chocolate balsamic vinegar that is.

On February 27 one of our newest members, 40 Below: Marquette County Young Professionals, has rented the tubing hill at Al Quaal from 5:30-8:30 p.m. for members and potential members. 40 Below is an organization aimed at professionals and community leaders under the age of 40 who want to come together with networking, volunteerism and professional development opportunities. 40 Below is open for anybody under the age of 40, whether you’re a teacher, a nurse, an entrepreneur or just somebody wanting to get involved. Stop by the hill to check it out.

March 5-8 will feature Art & Antiques, with a wine and cheese reception at the Pioneer Square/Gossard Building on March 7 from 5-7 p.m. This includes local art and antiques in themed displays for viewing or purchase and is a perfect example of our businesses working together.

Find the Chamber on Facebook or visit our website “http://www.gincc.org”>www.gincc.org to get updates on all upcoming events- including the reveal of our “Non-Mud Plunge” race this year. You can also email ginccmarketing@gmail.com if you want to receive updates by email.

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