Don't miss all the fun in the middle of winter during Ole and Lena Days! Get your tickets at the Chamber office for the Chamber's annual Fundraiser and Community Dinner on January 28. The entertainment this year promises to be fantastic as well as the meal! This is the Chamber's main fundraiser, plus a chance to get together as a community.

Elections were held at last month's board meeting for 2017 officers, Mark Sannerud - president, John Schultz - vice president and Sherry Mathiowetz - treasurer. Thanks to our Chamber members who mailed in their ballots for board members. The new Chamber board is Greg Holmstrom, Dave Smiglewski, Debbie Eakes, John Berends, Mark Sannerud, Pam Rosenau, Dr. Rick Clark, Rev. John Schultz, Sherry Mathiowetz, Carolyn Lindquist and Bobby Kiefert. Thank you to our outgoing board members Brad Peterson and Nancy Fiegen.

A special thank you to Pam Rosenau our outgoing president who will still serve an important function as past president. Our local organizations would not function without volunteers to serve on boards and volunteer for our events.

The Chamber has scheduled its second strategic planning meeting on February 7, 5:30 p.m. at the Chamber office. Chamber members are encouraged to join us as we develop our five-year plan and intermediate goals. This is your chance to share your ideas and concerns with the Chamber board and help develop our goals.

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Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization is another volunteer group doing great things for Granite Falls. GFRR meets every third Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. in the meeting room behind F and M Insurance. If you'd like to join us, we always welcome and encourage new members! Right now, we're working on the whitewater park project on the Minnesota River.

With Justin Bentaas leaving his post at the EDA, an ad hoc group is forming that will continue the work that he started on the project. A whitewater park would be an economic boost to our riverside town and bring more visitors, encourage new business and create an incentive for new residents to choose Granite Falls.

GFRR is also the non-profit entity that receives the grant money for Riverside Market and Muse. Chambers aren't qualified to receive most grants, our non-profit status is in a different category. This year's markets and entertainment on the downtown plazas start on May 13 and continue once a month through September. It's free for vendors and local organizations are encouraged to participate with fundraisers and performances.

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