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To the editor:
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.
[to top of second column in this letter]
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
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
September 24, 2012]
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