Saturday, October 06, 2012
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Thank you to the community from chamber president

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(Previously posted Sept. 24)

[October 06, 2012]  The following letter was received from the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce:

As we wrap up our activities related to organizing and operating the 39th annual Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival, the chamber board of directors wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who make it possible to have this special event year after year. What an uplifting experience it is to see so many people and organizations work together to showcase our wonderful community!

The chamber of commerce staff works diligently throughout the year to plan and operate this event, and we believe that they are to be commended for their efforts. However, an event this large would never be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and the countless hours put in by volunteers.

Our sponsors' timely financial commitments allowed us to confidently plan a successful festival. And the community should be proud of the response shown when the need for additional volunteers was made known.

Whether they work throughout the year as one of the coordinators or volunteer for a few hours over the weekend of the festival, we recognize and appreciate our volunteers' efforts and commitment to making the festival a success.

In addition to the chamber's organization of the art fair and hot air balloons, other community groups work to enhance the festival as well. A new committee was formed last year and continues to work diligently in growing Up in Smoke on the Square -- a nationally sanctioned barbecue competition. Also to complement the downtown activities, Main Street Lincoln organizes The Art of Wine, and the Oasis operates the craft fair and flea market -- even without mentioning the efforts of the Heritage In Flight Museum to supplement the activities at the airport.

Let's also not overlook the efforts of our local governmental officials. We appreciate the support of Mayor Keith Snyder and the city of Lincoln, as they are very accommodating with the activities downtown, along with making resources available to help fill needs at the airport. Under Mayor Snyder's leadership, the city of Lincoln continues to be very active in efforts to improve and grow programs that benefit the community. Of course, the county is also a strong supporter of the festival -- making the airport available as well as the sheriff's coordination to help ensure a safe environment at the airport and surrounding area. It is always reassuring to know Dan Fulscher and his team with EMA are on the job coordinating everything to ensure the safety of our volunteers and guests. We are thankful that our local officials recognize the value that this event brings to the community.

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We would be remiss if we failed to also recognize the time and effort put in by the pilots and their crews -- some local and some making long trips -- to entertain the crowds at the airport. Their efforts to give the crowd what they come to see at the airport, especially in challenging winds like we had Saturday night, are very much appreciated.

The chamber is honored to fill the role of coordinating all of the moving parts that make this festival the marquee event in our community. However, there is no doubt that it could not be done without the incredible support we receive year in and year out from the pilots, local government officials, the other community organizations -- and of course, our generous sponsors and the army of volunteers who step up each year to give visitors to Lincoln and Logan County just a little taste of what we have to offer.

While hard to measure directly, the value of both energizing the people in our own community and bringing in so many visitors from across the region -- and in some cases other parts of the country -- cannot be overstated.

Thank you all for your hard work in helping our community realize the value of this important event.

Eric D. Graue
President, Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce

[Text from file received from the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce]

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