Chamber Ambassadors kick-off 2023 with a range of visits

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GRINNELL, IA – The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce and its Chamber Ambassadors group participated in the Build a Better Grinnell survey, visited with members and welcomed a new business to the chamber in January.

Ambassadors started off February with a visit to the Grinnell Water Treatment Plant. We’ve been hearing a lot of feedback about the city’s water quality and in particular, the softening system. Our visit was incredibly insightful and while soft water is very important from a quality of life perspective, it’s one of many critical issues that also need to be addressed at the water treatment plant. There are 4 additional issues, including storage capacity, lead lines, pipe gallery deterioration and the age of the wells, which are all major concerns. It was a long visit and Ambassadors learned a lot. Read the full recap on the Chamber’s website:https://www.grinnellchamber.org/index.cfm/84817/19415/grinnell_water_treatment_plant_up date

The second visit of the month was to Davis Elementary for their student led food drive. Ambassadors learned about this initiative the students have been hosting as part of a service-based learning project. After discussing and researching many community initiatives, the students decided to focus on hunger. They learned the difference between hunger and being hungry, how our local food pantry operates, how transportation issues play into food access, how to create and work in committees and skills like phone etiquette, website design, flyer and script creation, how to do media interviews and more. They set up 4 different committees including: Hy-Vee Committee, Community Committee, Media Committee, and Davis Committee. They learned from community partners like MICA, Grinnell College, Grinnell Food Coalition, The Iowa Kitchen, and Tiger Packs.

The students set a goal to collect 500 food items to collect and donate to MICA over the course of the nearly month long project. They posted collection boxes at Davis, Grinnell-Newburg Community Schools, Drake Community Library, Chamber office, GARC, Grinnell Mutual, Pioneer Bookshop, Grinnell College, and Hy-Vee – Grinnell. At the time of our visit, we learned they’ve collected over 1,800 items at Davis alone. By the project’s

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conclusion, they had sourced over 3,460 items. Any monetary donations were used for a shopping trip to HyVee for additional items to donate to MICA.

Ambassadors submitted businesses for our Annual Celebration awards for the third visit of the month. It was a great visit brainstorming the many successes our local businesses and individuals have achieved over the last few years. Nominations are now closed for business awards but tickets to the awards celebration can still be purchased. Visithttps://www.grinnellchamber.org/en/events/annual_celebration/ to learn more.

Ambassadors wrapped up the month with a visit with Grinnell Little League board members. For over 35 years, Grinnell Little League has introduced Grinnell area kids to baseball and softball and helped them learn life skills like sportsmanship, teamwork and more. They start with T-Ball around 5 years old and run through 8th grade. The organization is run solely on volunteers – from board members to coaches. Their season typically kicks off in April with practices (weather dependent) with games beginning in May. The regular season runs through June and All-Stars runs through July.

While it feels like it may be a ways off, the Grinnell Little League registration for the 2023 season is open and season initially kicks off this Sunday, March 5 with a skills evaluation. The skills evaluation is run by the Grinnell High School baseball and softball teams and allows all players to be evaluated and organizers use these results to create well balanced teams for the season. The event kicks off at 4 PM at Grinnell High School and walk-in registration for the season will also be available.

Grinnell Little League is always looking for volunteers, from head and assistant coaches, to board members and help in the concession stands during tournaments, there many ways you can assist the program. They’re also looking for business sponsors for their 2023 signage. If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering, registration, or the skills evaluation, visit their website at https://tshq.bluesombrero.com/grinnellball or email grinnelllittleleague@gmail.com.

Chamber Ambassadors meet weekly on Tuesdays at 9:30 AM. If your business is interested in joining the Chamber or having the Ambassadors visit, please call 641-236-6555 or email Kendra at kendra@getintogrinnell.com for more information.

The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce is an independent, 501©6 non-profit organization focused on the Grinnell community. The mission of the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce is to advance the economic development, vitality, and growth of the community. For more information on how to join the Chamber or get involved, please visit grinnellchamber.org or call 641-236-6555.


Water Treatment Plant

Pictured L-R: Charlie Issacs – Theisen’s, Fran Conn, Erin Bustin – Studio E Grinnell, Rachael Kinnick – Grinnell Chamber, Donnette Ellis – Grinnell College, Whitney Bair Crawford, Agent with New York Life, Jeff Finch – Wes Finch Auto Plaza, Trent Arment – MCG – Mahaska Communication Group, Jordon Altenhofen – Water Department Director, Chris Meyer & Reegan VanDyke – Servpro of Ottumwa and Grinnell, Joe Bagnoli – Grinnell College, Lindsey Altenhofen – Grinnell United Church of Christ

Davis Elementary Visit

Pictured L-R, front to back: Seated: Davis Elementary students

Front: April Gosslink-Lemke – Project Coordinator, Mike Olson – Lincoln Savings Bank, Reagan Mackie – 4th Grade Teacher, Fran Conn, Ryan Timm – Timm Agency, LLC-American Family Insurance, David Miller – Hy-Vee, Donnette Ellis – Grinnell College Community Connections, Shane Hart – Grinnell College Golf Course, Sarah Smith – Grinnell College, Lindsey Altenhofen – Grinnell United Church of Christ, Dorothy Spriggs – Carriage House Bed & Breakfast, Mary Lindberg – Cirks Financial Services, Jennifer McAlexander – JM Consulting & Hawkeye Lock & Security

Back: Rachael Kinnick – Grinnell Chamber, Charlie Issacs – Theisen’s, Whitney Bair Crawford, Agent with New York Life, Matt Moyer – Bayer Crop Science, Marissa Pronschinske – Grinnell Chamber, Hannah Warnell, Iowa Realty, Trent Arment – MCG – Mahaska Communication Group, Erin Bustin – Studio E Grinnell, Chris Meyer – Servpro of Ottumwa and Grinnell

Grinnell Little League

Pictured L-R: Donna Fischer – UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Fran Conn, Rachael Kinnick – Grinnell Chamber, Joe Quiros – Grinnell Little League, Lisa Cirks – Cirks Financial Services, Matt Moyer – Bayer Crop Science, Stacey Coleman – Grinnell Little League, Jennifer McAlexander – Hawkeye Lock & Security and JM Consulting, Bill Kostow – Grinnell Little League, Hannah Warnell, Iowa Realty, Chris Meyers – Servpro of Ottumwa and Grinnell, Madilyn Smith – B3 Technology, Marissa Pronschinske – Grinnell Chamber, Jeff Finch – Wes Finch Auto Plaza, Dorothy Spriggs – Carriage House Bed & Breakfast, Charlie Issacs – Theisen’s, Trent Arment – MCG – Mahaska Communication Group