With the 2014 Wilber Czech Festival just completed, we must truly give thanks to the many people who help to make the festival a success. The Wilber Czech Festival is the largest ethnic festival in the Midwest, hosted by a town of 1855 habitants, all volunteers to keep our community strong. No one receives a paycheck for this endeavor, but we all reap the benefits of a fine, small town. An unbelievable, amazing feat for any community. The good folks of Wilber would not let the nasty summer hail storms hamper the ability to get repaired and spruced up as we prepared for the thousands of visitors to our town. This “moving forward attitude”, speaks loudly of the quality folks who make up the town of Wilber.
The Wilber Chamber of Commerce is made up of 60 business members and 17 individual members. People working together for the benefit of our local businesses. Hats off to the many merchants who sold tickets for the vehicle raffle. Your efforts are needed and appreciated to complete the task. Past president, Brian Florian, was chairman of the care of the Jeep during the summer, with the assistance of Vice president, John Brickner during the festival.
Congratulations to Jerry Sydow of Hudson, Colorado who won the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Mr. Sydow learned of the car raffle through friends, former Wilberite, Connie (Zumpfe) and Rick Buckmaster, also of Hudson. Mr. Sydow has purchased tickets for the past six years as he thought it was a great raffle idea. Nine other tickets were drawn and they each received $100.00. We are grateful to the other 340 individuals who supported the raffle by purchasing a ticket. The last ticket for the jeep was sold at 11:10 a.m. Saturday morning of the festival. Discussion will take place later this year to choose the most worthwhile community project for the funds earned with the raffle. Ideas are shared at monthly meetings with the group voting on the final project.
Winners of the Window Decorating contest, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, for the 53rd annual Czech Festival were: 1st Place-Victoria’s Garden, $50.00 in Chamber Bucks, 2nd Place-Wilber Czech Craft Shop, $30.00 in Chamber Bucks and 3rd Place-Western United Mutual Insurance Co.-$20.00 in Chamber Bucks. All winners received ribbons, designed by Jo Brickner, for this honor. Thank you to all businesses that dolled up their window for the festival. The Wilber Czech Royalty judged the contest.
The Teacher’s Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, August 12, from 7 to 8 am at Hotel Wilber. This is a fun event to welcome and honor the teachers and staff of Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools and kick off a good year of education at District 82. Staff members attending will each receive a $2.00 chamber buck and their name will be put in a raffle drawing for local gifts.
For some great produce, baking, and crafts, don’t forget to stop at the Hotel Wilber Patio Garden from 4 to 6:30 pm on Thursdays. Board member, Scott Woitalewicz does a fine job of hosting this event and there is not a charge to be a vendor.
With the amazing response to last’s years Halloween event, the chamber will again host the downtown project. Chamber Treasurer, Danni Klasek is the chairman of the event and will be contacting local merchants in October.
The Chamber would like to honor the dedicated spirit of the community after a nasty June hail storm, with a dance to be held on Friday, November 7, at the Wilber Sokol Hall. Please watch for more details regarding this special event.
Please keep vice-president, John Brickner and his wife Jo in your thoughts and prayers as they lost their son Neal in July. A mason by trade, Neal, helped his dad with the masonry work for the four Wilber welcome signs. Neal was very proud of his work on this worthy Chamber project that greets all visitors coming into our town. We are also sorry for the losses of Norman Blaha and Gwen Anthony, long time Chamber members.
With 60 businesses making up the Wilber Chamber of Commerce, please shop locally. We have some very fine merchants in our town and their customer service is awesome!