chamber

Celebrate Freedom in Wamego on July 4th

Celebrate Freedom in Wamego is quickly approaching. Join us this 4th of July for a full day of family fun and celebrations. From the car show, to  the carnival, musical performances, the 147th Annual Independence Day Parade, and of course – FIREWORKS, there’s something for everyone in Wamego on the 4th! Your one-stop-shop for Celebrate Freedom in Wamego is VisitWamego.com. Find more information on schedules, places to eat, things to do and what to bring. We look forward to seeing you in Wamego on July 4th!

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Wamego Successfully Hosts The Wall That Heals

Warm temperatures did little to stop crowds from visiting The Wall That Heals in Wamego City Park on June 13-17. The traveling 3/4-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial stopped in Wamego as part of it’s 38-city 2018 National Tour.

“We are proud to partner with Caterpillar to host the Wall in Wamego and honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam,” said Daryn Soldan, Executive Director of the Wamego Area Chamber of Commerce, “this has been an incredible opportunity to remember and educate our community on this impactful period in our history.”

Over 200 dedicated volunteers helped set-up, take-down and staff the wall 24-hours per day during it’s stay in Wamego. An Opening Ceremony was held on June 14th and speakers included Roger Donlon, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, as well as Tracey Mann, Kansas Lt. Governor. The Closing Ceremony on June 17th included remarks by retired Lt. General Michael Dodson and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran.

More information on The Wall That Heals and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund can be found at www.TheWallThatHeals.org. Additional event pictures, videos and media coverage is posted on the Wamego Chamber Facebook page.

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THE WALL THAT HEALS Coming to Wamego

Caterpillar Wamego Operations and the Wamego Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering to bring THE WALL THAT HEALS, a ¾-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, to Wamego, Kansas, on June 14-17, 2018. THE WALL THAT HEALS will be located in the Wamego City Park and is open to the public and free to attend. The Wall will be open continuously beginning with the Opening Ceremony at 10:00am on June 14th until the Closing Ceremony at 1:00pm on June 17th.

More schedule details and information about the Wall’s visit to Wamego can be found at http://www.visitwamego.com/events/the-wall-that-heals. Volunteers will play a key role in supporting the Wall’s visit. To learn more about volunteer opportunities and to sign up to volunteer, visit http://signup.com/go/DRexxoY.

THE WALL THAT HEALS honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1982, wants to give all veterans and their family members across America an opportunity to see the Memorial. More information on the VVMF and THE WALL THAT HEALS, including photos and a full 2018 national tour schedule, can be found at www.TheWallThatHeals.org.

“VVMF is pleased to bring THE WALL THAT HEALS mobile exhibit to Wamego, Kansas to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to visit The Wall and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “We hope it provides an opportunity for healing and an educational experience for the whole community on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.”

“This is a unique opportunity for us to honor those who served in the Vietnam War, as well as the veterans within Caterpillar and in our community,” said Greg Rusk, Global Operations Manager for Caterpillar Work Tools. “We are honored and humbled to be a part of bringing THE WALL THAT HEALS to Wamego.

“It is a pleasure to work with our great community partners at Caterpillar to bring this impactful memorial to Wamego,” said Jeff Wick, President of the Wamego Area Chamber of Commerce. “Our community is known for coming together to support meaningful causes, and THE WALL THAT HEALS will be a wonderful opportunity to band together to honor and remember our servicemen and women.”

The new, larger exhibit includes a three-quarter scale Wall replica that is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors will be able to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C. For the first time in the history of THE WALL THAT HEALS, visitors will be able to do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall.

More than 250,000 people visited THE WALL THAT HEALS in 2016. Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in nearly 500 U.S. communities, the Four Provinces of Ireland, and Canada. THE WALL THAT HEALS is transported from community to community by a trailer with cases built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile Education Center that tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history. The 2018 national THE WALL THAT HEALS tour is hauled through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the trucking industry and generously sponsored by USAA.

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2018 Total Resource Campaign

We kick off 2018 with the annual Total Resource Campaign. This campaign wraps the Wamego Area Chamber of Commerce membership and sponsorship outreach into one concerted effort to start the year. Additional information on 2018 events, programming, sponsorship and Chamber membership can be found in the 2018 Membership Information & Application packet. Please contact us at 785-456-7849 with any questions.

We’re excited about all great things the Chamber did in 2017. Highlights include:

Economic Development and Advocacy:

  • Actively supported the Penny for Our Future Coalition’s successful effort to have voters renew the Pottawatomie County-wide 1% sales tax.
  • Continue to partner with the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation on key initiatives like the Child Care Task Force and the Small Business Action Team.

Member and Community Value:

  • Hosted U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall for a Business Caucus Roundtable Discussion and a Town Hall Meeting.
  • Utilized Chamber programs to provide information on important community issues including the City’s new aquatic pool plans, USD 320 drug testing policy, county-wide sales tax renewal, and the NBAF project.
  • Continued to grow the Peer Chamber and Youth Entrepreneur programs at WHS, helping grow young people in our community as leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • Partnered with local businesses to host well-attended monthly Business After Hours events.
  • Presented the annual Leaders Retreat in conjunction with the Manhattan and Junction City Chambers.

Events, Festivals and Convention & Visitors Bureau Initiatives:

  • Developed a new Celebrate Freedom in Wamego website focused on visitor experience and obtained a Kansas Attraction Development Grant to support the website improvements and new event signage.
  • Planned and managed high-profile festivals, including Tulip Festival, Celebrate Freedom in Wamego, and OZtoberFest. Added a new event in 2017 – Party on Lincoln Street Dance in June.
  • Began a new attraction asset development project – Totos Around Town. Look for more in 2018!

We’re looking forward to continuing these efforts and doing even more in 2018. We look forward to your involvement with the Wamego Area Chamber of Commerce this year!

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