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Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Meeting Minutes
255 South State Street, Unit B, Manhattan, IL 60442
December 10, 2019

Present: Donna Bateman, Kristy Byers, Mary Kay Cooper, Shari Fiocca,Tim McGrath, Kevin Sing and new board members Becky Bouck of Village Reality and Joe Cerullo of Ed Jones and Administrative Assistant Peggy Kraatz

Shari called the meeting to order at 3:35 pm. Kevin moved and Kristy seconded a motion to approve the November minutes. Motion carried. Donna’s treasurer’s report showed a checking account balance of $ 11,724.74. Kevin moved and Kristy seconded a motion to approve the report. Motion carried.

Administrative Assistant report:Peggy reported that we have 90 members with Two Men and a Truck joining after Jan. 1. Shari said that new decals are coming.

All prizes for the Scavenger Hunt and the Gingerbread House Contest were distributed. 

Peggy is trying to get the Merry Mixer concrete truck for the Labor Day and Christmas parades for 2020.

Equal rotation of chamber member food vendors for networking events will be a goal for 2020. The next networking event will be Dec. 18 at 3:30 at Midtown Wine Bar. Peggy will order snacks from Berkot’s.

Welcome Bags: This year to date 243 bags have been distributed. On Thursday, Peggy will assemble another 32 to finish out the year.

Christmas on State Review: Favorable reviews were received. Floats were kept at a slow pace due to the lead police car’s speed. This allowed floats to be seen easily. However, since most people were gathered from Fritz’s north, starting the parade on Whitson or First Streets might work better. There were 18 participating groups. It would be good to use barricades to free an area for the Boy Scouts for their flag presentation at Time Square. Without a local newspaper, publicity for the event also needs to be on non-social media since a large number of residents do not do Facebook. An A-frame listing the events at Berkot’s corner, the library, schools and park district may help spread the word. Lincoln-Way carolers may be a nice touch for next year. Parade timing needs to be so that those at St. Joseph’s 4:30 Mass can get home if they want to before the road is closed off and also consider the train’s arrival so that the parade is not cut in half. The new Village speaker system worked well, but a second speaker might work better. Getting the crowd to quiet down also limited the ability to hear the mayor. Having Scavenger Hunt printed sheets for Anna McDonald and Wilson Creek with a list of activities on the back of the sheet met with favor.  Relocating the fire and hot chocolate setup at Time Square might work better. Also suggested for next year was a Christmas house walk. This was done in the 1970s with houses having a themed decorated home. A Christmas bar crawl or a house crawl, a Chris Cringle market and a food truck were also suggested. 

By-Laws: Revisions were made to the by-laws to reflect having not enough volunteers and having too many wishing to be on the board. Kevin moved and Kristy seconded a motion to approve changes made to Article IV.  The vote was unanimous approved.

Ambassadors: The surplus of board volunteers above the eight maximum will be invited to the January meeting by Shari to help plan the roles that they are interested in performing. It was suggested that Kevin Molloy is good with fundraising especially with the fireworks. Joe Regan’s role could be the main networking MC and Kathi Boswell’s role to be determined. Ambassadors could be assigned to help new members or help with event coordination. It was suggested that we should be present at the Fall Festival and other events in the Village. Having a meeting with the Park District, Village and schools quarterly might also be an ambassador position. Currently those groups meet the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Irish Fest: is another event in which we should have a presence either by a float, or a table in the tent selling kid designed t-shirts and bling lights.

The next meeting will be January 14 at 3:30 pm to plan for next year.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Kay Cooper, secretary

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