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Students spotlighted at Chamber coffee
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Great Bend Police officer Jefferson Davis visits with recent DARE graduates who are part of Americas Promise at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce coffee sponsored by Community Bank of the Midwest Thursday morning. Americas Promise Alliance works to end the high school dropout crisis nationwide. - photo by Dale Hogg

Christmas carols, hot apple cider, and gourmet cupcakes greeted members of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning.
The Community Bank of the Midwest, 2220 Broadway Ave., hosted the weekly coffee and invited the Great Bend High School Madrigal Pops group to perform. Following the performance, business people were introduced to the 2012 class of America’s Promise fifth grade D.A.R.E. graduates by Great Bend Police Officer Jefferson Davis. Earlier, each America’s Promise participant received a gift of $25 from Community Bank to go on a Walmart Christmas shopping spree.
“It was very heartening to see many of these young people shopping for presents for their brothers and sisters, moms and dad,” Davis said. “It is a testament to the character and the caliber of these young people.” He added that many of the students were caught donating change to the Salvation Army bell-ringers unprompted.
Bank president Steve Sell praised the students for their hard work and involvement with the America’s Promise program and the organization’s goal of increasing the high school graduation rate to 90 percent by the year 2020.
Members of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce meet for coffee weekly at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday mornings at different member locations. Next week, coffee will be hosted by the Presbyterian Church.