Another year is in the books as the 2022 Antelope County Ag & Home Expo went by on March 1 & 2. With over 50 booths and a variety of vendors, attendees had the opportunity to meet and discover many amazing local businesses for the product or services they may be looking for! Whether a guest comes to meet a business or enjoy the delicious food, there is a little something for everyone there! We already can't wait for the 2023 Expo!
Each year, the Neligh Chamber works to help spread a little holiday cheer by setting up the Christmas Light Display on the Courthouse lawn. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of the Neligh-Oakdale Public School’s FBLA Chapter and their parents who spend a Sunday afternoon helping the Chamber move the pieces around. They, then, partner yet again when the time comes to take the beautiful display down. However, this year there was a hiccup in that normal plan as the cold weather had frozen the decorations into the ground.
This is where the help of the Neligh-Oakdale Public School Students came into play. During a school day, a supporting teacher allowed the students to come and help the Chamber. They worked to get all the pieces out of the ground and setup against the courthouse. The next week, City of Neligh Public Works crew helped to load everything up as well as remove the decorations from the Chamber Office lawn. Rich Burgess and Steve Simonsen also graciously donated their time organizing and helping to guide where the pieces needed to be stored, everything was able to be cleaned up and packed away for the season. We are so grateful for all our volunteers and everyone who took the time to help us get everything put away to be stored for next year. Hopefully, next year the display will have a sparkling new look.
The Neligh Economic Development Office hosted a wonderful opportunity for students to come and learn about different local career options at the Antelope County Fair Grounds on January 27. The schools that attended were Elgin Public School, Summerland Public School, and Neligh- Oakdale Public School. Speakers came to present to the students on a wide array of topics as well as having them participate in activities. “We want them to come back to the area to live and work. Our greatest investment is in our young people,” said Economic Development Director Lauren Sheridan- Simonsen. The hope is that by presenting students with all these amazing opportunities, they will receive their education, but also know that it is okay to come back home. In fact, we want them too! Students then spent the afternoon touring a few local businesses. A Job Fair was hosted later that night for local businesses looking for more employment.
The Chamber’s Shop Local campaign was a little different this year as they had little North Pole friends helping them with the task. The Great Elf Hunt kicked off on the first of December with eleven different businesses participating in allowing the elves to hide around their store! Community members were encouraged to keep their eyes out for them while they shopped. Participants could take a picture with the elf and send them in to the chamber for a chance to win one of the three grand prizes! We are so grateful for all who participated and choose to shop local this holiday season! We hope to see our elf friends next year and hopefully more of them will come and hide!
While the Chamber Office prepared for the updates that are soon to come, a small gem was found in an unlikely place. Hiding in an old filing cabinet that appeared to be empty was discovered an old worn book that had a metal divider keeping it buried away. After close inspection, it was discovered to be the missing original link for the Chamber's history. In this book, we learned that the Chamber has not always been known at the Neligh Chamber of Commerce. It use to be a men only group called the Neligh Commercial Club and originated in 1913. Through years, it transitioned into the Chamber we know today. With this find, we were able to finally complete the missing part of our newest logo, the establish date. We are thrilled with this find and for being able to connect our chamber back to its origins.
This month, the Chamber was presented with the opportunity to host Congressman Adrian Smith. He came to town on Wednesday, August 18 and was here to speak to the public for 1 hour. This took place at the Neligh Public Library. Community members and some chamber members came to discuss some of their concerns with the congressman as well as listen to what some of his current projects are. We were grateful for the opportunity to have our businesses speak directly with our state representative!
We are thrilled for our Chamber Member, Pinnacle Bank, on their Grand Opening! After many months of work and progress, their patience paid off as they were able to celebrate the opening of the newly remodeled bank! It was a beautiful celebration with many local bank members, partners, and businesses! Congratulations to Pinnacle Bank!
Neligh is the flag day capital of the world! The city celebrated by placing marking flags of the American Flag next to the Highway by the Chamber and ED Office. The Neligh Young Men's Club also put up flags all around town. A big thank you to all the volunteers who spent the time putting up the flags to help our community celebrate!
After the help of many volunteers to clean up Rainbow Fountain Garden, Neligh-Oakdale Public School Ag. Classes came down to help replant the Garden. With their help, the whole garden was able to be planted in one day! "Shovels in hand, dirt under our nails, and plants in the ground. It all makes for a good day," said NOPS FFA Advisor Ms. Burnside.
On May 4, some of the Chamber Board Members were able to go and brighten a few Neligh Mothers' days by bringing them a flower and a cookie after they were nominated as Mother of the Year. Two mother's were selected at the recipients of this award from both the Kids and Big Kids categories. The winner of the kids section was Megan Jacob, and the recipient of the Big Kids award was Dodi Jessen.
The annual banquet was able to held on March 6 where many Chamber Members were able to celebrate together, enjoy the great community, and have a delicious meal! At this event, the 2020 Chamber Awards were announced.
~ Chamber Member of the Year: Thriftway Market for their hard work during covid and
constant support of the Chamber.
~ Community Member of the Year: Brian Christensen for all that he does for our
community, the museums, and his hard work to clean up rainbow fountain.
~ Lifetime Achievement Award: Dodi Jessen for her many years of service to the
Chamber and for all that she has done to help our organization grow. She is a
valuable asset to our community.
After a long wait due to Covid 19 postponing the banquet last year, the recipients were finally able to be announced! The 2019 recipients were:
This month, the Chamber was able to spread a little more Christmas Cheer with the start of the annual Pick Your Present Promotion. This promotion helps encourage and remind people to shop and support local businesses this Holiday Season. 14 Chamber Businesses donated to the program to help create 17 presents, all with a value of $50 or more, that local shoppers would have a chance to win!
Pictured is one of the Pick Your Present Winners receiving their gift.
State Farm Business After Hours
Hunter Charf of Neligh, NE was chosen as the recipient because of his continuous dedication in volunteering to help the community. Hunter will be attending UNL for Bio-Engineering in the fall.
The Neligh Chamber, Neligh-Oakdale FBLA, 30 chamber members and the Neligh American Legion have partnered to bring a business miniature golf tournament to Neligh for one night only!
Join us at the American Legion 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. for a soup and sandwich supper. The folks at the Legion are known for great food!
Putting beings at 6:00 p.m. Grab your scorecard and map at the Legion and start putting! Multiple businesses are set up in the Legion with other "holes" throughout town. At 8:00 p.m. we'll announce the winners! We're giving away a couple hundred in cold hard Neligh Chamber BIG BUCKS!
Participating businesses are competing for the "Best Hole 2018" trophy, BIG BUCKS and, of course, BRAGGIN' RIGHTS!
Be sure to meet us out at the Neligh American Legion, Monday, October 15th! We're going to have a blast!