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Friday, March 26, 2021

Chamber banquet well attended

At tisket, a tasket, let's bid on this basket...

The annual Butler Chamber of Commerce banquet
last night went off without a hitch and brought words of encouragement to Butler businesses and others who might consider setting up shop in our town. The evening festivities included an auction of a variety of items donated by area businesses; also a social hour and a wonderful meal prepared by Lyndsi Demicco.
Don and JoAnn LeNeve
65 year chamber members

The night opened with remarks from Chamber Executive Director Barbara Lawrence who outlined the ceremonies and introduced speakers Peggy Buhr, Curator of the Bates County Museum. and Greg Weaver, Chamber President. There was also recognition of the 2020-2021 chamber board members and auction of a surprise item at the end of the evening.

Peggy Buhr spoke of the history of Butler businesses, including Levy's, the longtime clothing store that once occupied two buildings on the east side of the square, along with a bevy of other little know facts such as single digit phone numbers; and believe it or not, Butler once boasted some nine grocery stores. She also spoke of the troubles during the great depression, World War II and other situations and how they had an adverse impact locally. While some businesses did go by the wayside, many adapted to change and forged ahead, bringing us to today.
Peggy Buhr provided some little
known Butler business history

On a parallel note, Greg Weaver then took the podium and talked of the importance of being flexible and adapt to changing times in order for businesses to survive in our modern world. Being CEO of Bates County Memorial Hospital, Weaver shared first hand experiences in the medical industry that brought change due to the Covid outbreak. He went on to point out that while we tend to resist change, it is necessary, and most times a new, successful business can be introduced. Case in point, since Covid, companies that offer services such as Zoom and Teams have had a nice uptick in business as more folks are working at home. His words of encouragement were clear- roll with it and adapt, we will prevail.

Recognition was given to long time chamber member businesses, some with an astoundingly long commitment:
Chamber President Greg Weaver
spoke of change needed for businesses
to remain viable

15 years - Kershner Heating and Cooling, Max Motors, Solar Shade USA
20 years - Computer Aisle
25 years - Midwest Lumber
40 years - Koehn Bakery
45 years - Bates County Health Center
65 years - LeNeve's TV & Appliance
95 years - Butler Public Library
165 years - First Christian Church of Butler

The close of the evening included announcement of auction winners,  remarks and thanks by Director Barbara Lawrence

The Butler Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a hearty thank-you to all members and encourages others to get involved as the quest continues to build a stronger community by bringing businesses, organizations and people together... We Love Local and you can get involved today by chatting with Barbara Lawrence or any board member. The chamber office is located at 17 N. Main in Butler or call 660-424-0278.

LeNeve photo courtesy Cass County Tribune