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Forget most of 2020, savor the wins
Changes coming to chamber celebration
Chamber Awards Banquet

The 99th-annual Great Bend Chamber of Commerce celebration won’t look like the gala banquets of yore. But, even though COVID-19 forced the Saturday, Feb. 20, event to go virtual, there remains much to be proud of after the pandemic ravaged year, said Lee Ann June, chamber marketing and communications director.

“It will be different, but it will be memorable,” she said. The event will be prerecorded, but shown live with the pre-show activities starting at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7, lasting about an hour.

“This is not just another Zoom meeting,” June said. All registrants will receive exclusive access via a password-protected page on

“Join us from your couch, grab a watch party box for yourself, or gather some friends and host your own watch party,” she said. “However you do it, know that your purchase is greatly impacting the work we are doing through the Chamber for the business community.”

Scott Donovan, Shannon Stafford and Matt McBain of Eagle Radio will serve as the emcees.

Before the program begins, Stafford will demonstrate a signature cocktail recipe, and there will be a recognition of the sponsors, June said. The main event will include speakers and the announcement of the chamber awards.

“It is a time to celebrate the wins from this past year,” she said. Participants will find out who will be honored as this year’s:

• Citizen of the Year

• Business of the Year

• NextGen Leader of the Year

June said the recipients will be told in advance, but kept a closely guarded secret until Feb. 20. 

These presentations will be recorded ala sweepstakes surprise style and included in the stream.

There are an unlimited number of tickets available to watch the live-stream and to take part, she said. To participate, there are three tiers of support, including:

• Sofa soiree: $10

Tune in from home. Receive instructions for viewing the live event, a program, and signature cocktail recipe.

• Watch party box for one: $35

Receive instructions for viewing live event plus one Watch Party Box (one mini-bottle of Rosewood Wine, locally sourced party snacks, one 100th anniversary commemorative chamber coffee mug, signature cocktail recipe and program).

• Sponsored watch party host: $500

“Gather a team and/or friends as a watch party host,” she said. Host businesses receive extra recognition during the live event, logo recognition on, and Outlook Business Journals. Plus, they get party supplies for 10 (two full-size bottles of Rosewood Wine, 10 commemorative mugs, signature cocktail recipe, locally sourced party snacks and programs).

The Great Bend Chamber was formed in 1921, and June said they are using this year as lead-in to the centennial observance. That milestone will take center stage at next year’s festivities.

For information or to register, visit or call 620-792-2401.