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Ellinwood Chamber welcomes three new board members
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Jardan Bangert, Lindsey Bogner, and Rod Weber were elected 2016 Ellinwood Chamber board members at the annual Chamber banquet Saturday night. - photo by Courtesy photos

The city of Claflin sent word to the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce that it has decided to pursue formation of a PRIDE organization, instead of partnering with the Ellinwood’s Chamber.  
Kansas PRIDE is dedicated to serving communities across the state to encourage and assist local government and volunteers in making their community a better place to live and work.
Through the Kansas PRIDE program, local communities identify what they would like to preserve, create, or improve for their future. Then, working with the resources of K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Commerce, community volunteers pull together to create their ideal community future.
Claflins’s new organization will be called Claflin Area PRIDE (CAP).

Three new board member nominees of the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce were announced Master of Ceremonies Rob Dove Saturday night at the 2016 Ellinwood Chamber Banquet and annual board meeting. Dove also announced that Chamber member Lloyd Kurtz, retired, is the organization’s nominee for the Ellinwood Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year award to be presented at the annual banquet Feb. 11.  
Chamber Director Jacque Isern thanked members and guest for their support over the past year, which was marked by the continuation of already established events like Christkindlmarket and the After Harvest Festival.  Heat may have kept some away from the After Harvest Festival, but  a combined 50 vendors reported a great turnout for Christkindlmarket, which benefitted from mild weather a week after a dangerous ice and snow storm hit the area, closing down holiday opening events around the area.  
This year the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce plans to attend what may become the last Kansas Sampler Festival, to be held in Winfield the first weekend of May.  The first weekend in June, Ellinwood will take part in the fifth annual June Jaunt festival, a regional effort to encourage tourism along K-96 form Ellinwood to Tribune.  This year, member Chris McCord will head up the June Jaunt committee, she said.  Also, Isern is currently organizing a committee for the 2016 After Harvest Festival.
“We need sponsorship for the event this year,” she added.  “Seniors, couples, non-profits, individuals, we need your ideas, and if you’re thinking of helping out your community, please call.”
In 2014 and 2015, the people from the city of Claflin who were interested in starting a Chamber of Commerce began working with the Ellinwood Chamber in cooperation.  Dove read a letter sent by representatives Murine Prosser and Becky Wassin, thanking the community for their help and support.
“It was a great experience, and we hope to continue in a spirit of cooperation, for how can it do anything but help both our communities,” he read.  Claflin has decided that a PRIDE organization will be a better fit for Claflin, and announced the formation of Claflin Area PRIDE (CAP).  
Local comedienne Traci Romy was the entertainment.
Dove announced the winners of the election of board members.  They included all three nominees, Jordan Bangert, Lindsey Bogner, and Rod Weber.  
Bangert has lived in Ellinwood for four years, and is currently the Assistant Manager at Hibbett Sports in Great Bend, and an active member of Barton County Young Professionals and a member of the Ellinwood American Legion Auxiliary.  
Bogner serves as the Executive Director of the Ellinwood Hospital Foundation and is the Community Education Director for the Ellinwood Hospital and Clinic.  She is also a member of the Barton County Young Professionals, and a member of the Hines-Gossman American Legion Post #320, Ellinwood, having served in the U.S. Army.
Rod Weber and wife Danielle own Gather coffee in Ellinwood, a coffee shop, restaurant, soda fountain and retail shop on Main Street.  He is a former police officer and now runs his own business reclaiming wood from old homesteads and barns.