On March 24, 2018 47 vendors and organizations displayed their products and services at the 11th Annual Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce Expo. The Chamber wishes to thank all the businesses and organizations that participated as well as the attendees. Special thanks goes to WOCO for broadcasting the event. Food for purchase was provided by Wise Guys and Wagner Shell. Several businesses asked to present oral information to attendees. Main Street Health informed participants about group benefits for insurance and Medicare options while enjoying Frank’s famous chili; Prevea Health had interesting info on Ideal Weigh, Therapy, Home Health, Orthopedic and Cancer Centers; Norwex demonstrated its cleaning products and Senior Medicare Patrol presented tips on Medicare. The Chamber wishes to thank the Oconto Unified School District for the use of its table and chairs and the Bond Community Center for the use of it facilties and their usual hospitality.
The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce held its March meeting at Crivello’s.
A letter was read from the Life Smarts Team at Oconto High School who recently won the 2018 State LifeSmarts Championship in Madison. They will now compete at the National LifeSmarts Competition in San Diego in April. They are asking for donations of Wisconsin-based company gifts to include in a gift exchange with their “sister” team. If your company has a small item to donate, contact Kathy Hayes (920-835-5348) or drop off at the OHS District Office. The Chamber wishes to congratulate the members of the team: Alex Maynard, James Alwin, Morgan Durand, Lucas Ruechel, and Carley Murphy.
Scot Neu, business teacher at OHS is running a business simulation in his Intro to Business course and is seeking help in conducting interviews. The available times would be the start of the week of April 2nd during the times of 8:00, 8:45, 9:50 and 10:30 a.m. (when the classes run) This would consist of a brief 10 minute interview with student and then your impressions of these students.
President Hayes, Mayor Heier, Dr. John Honish and Kathy Hayes attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Fox Cities Convention Center March 11-13. All stated it was very worthwhile and many tips were heard on how to advertise a business on a low budget and how to create an unforgettable experience for visitors who come to our community. Kathy will explore the possibility of a touch screen for the Chamber information center. Employees at businesses and organizations need to keep informed as to what is going on in our area. This would also be a benefit to tourists who ask what is going on in our area. August 31 is “Wisconsin Supper Club Day.” The Chamber will promote this event.
Check out the website: nationalcalendarday.com
Members are also encouraged to make suggestions as how to make the Oconto Chamber better. Email: email@example.com.
Don Nerenhausen, Chairman reported that a huge increase in the pedestrian bridge cost is now due to increase in materials and a State fee to inspect the bridge. An engineering firm will now be hired to explore other options. President Hayes and Mayor Heier discussed the funding for the bridge with State Assembly Representatives Jeff Mursau and John Nygren at WIGCOT.
Miss Copperfest 2018 applications are now ready for distribution. The deadline is May 19, 2018. The forms can be found on the Chamber website. Any girl 16-21 may apply. Each applicant must be sponsored by a Chamber business or organization. If you can’t find a sponsor, one will be provided for you. Each applicant must write an essay and the topic is found on the application form. The Chamber is awarding $1000 to the queen, $500 to the 1st runner up and $250 to the second runner up.
Currently there are 114 paid members. If you would like to join as a business, organization or individual, the forms can be found on the Chamber Website. www.ocontoareachamber.com
All Chamber members are requested to check their listing on the Chamber website and indicate whether or not there should be changes or additions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OCONTO CHAMBER HARVEST FEST 2017
Harvest Fest was held on September 30th. Vendor numbers increased significantly from last year as the venue was changed to Main St. and many businesses on Main St. were open. The weather was fantastic and many, many positive comments were heard about the new venue. The Oconto Area Humane Society sponsored a “Cutest Pet” Contest.
You may have noticed that the flower pots on Main St. were planted with a fall theme. A thank you goes out to Nancy Rhode who purchased the pumpkins and mums. Planting was done by Nancy and Kathy Hayes on the first day of autumn, the hottest day of the year. Please recognize the business sponsors of the planters: Newcap, Cain Accounting, OCEDC, Huntington Bank, Image Apparel, Citgo, Oconto Pharmacy and State Farm Insurance.
More activities for children will hopefully be added next year. In addition to the Cutest Pet Contest, Bay Impressions set up a tent for a coloring activity for young and old artists. Brenda Race supplied pumpkins for children to paint, Westenberg Financial had a bean bag toss game as well as the Lions Club and Farnsworth Library was conducting a bike decorating activity.
Food was provided by Wise Guys, Aurora Carrazco, 1st American Lutheran, Jim Truckey’s kettle corn, Newcap, and Crivello’s. Entertainment was provided by Don Marovich and Jean Carlin and Cain throughout the day.
The City of Oconto along with the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored its first annual Waterfest on July 1st at the Harbor. Hats off to Sara Perrizo, Oconto City Administrator and all of the City staff who coordinated the event along with Ron Hayes, Chamber President. Bad Habitz played from 2:30-6:30 and Nashville Pipeline played from 6:30-10:30 pm. A lighted boat parade took place at 9:30 p.m. The best decorated watercraft received $25 in Chamber Bucks. They are Steve Witt of Oconto Falls, Gregg Catch of Green Bay and Patti Ernst of Oconto. Fireworks were shot off on the causeway at 10:00 p.m. This event was free to the public due to the generosity of the business sponsors which were the City of Oconto , the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce, Bellin Health, Huntington Bank, Roberts Hometown Hardware, Thompson’s County Market, Stephenson National Bank & Trust, and Wagner Shell. A huge thank you also goes out to Kobussen Bus Company which provided shuttle service, Kenny Sallee who provided the water taxi, the Oconto Elks Club which provided food and beverage for purchase and all the other vendors who displayed their products. This event is being planned again for next year.
At the Kick-Off Breakfast on Friday, June 9, Miss Copperfest 2017 was chosen. She is the 35TH queen to receive this honor. She is MARISSA DIAZ
The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the contest by presenting scholarship amounts. Miss Copperfest 2017 received a $1000 scholarship, the 1st Runner-up, ALLISON BUCHEGER received a $500 scholarship and the 2nd Runner-up, BRIANNA CAIN received a $250 scholarship. Image Apparel supplied additional prizes to all 3 of the candidates.
The Chamber would like to thank all the 2017 Chamber Business sponsors which include: Bayshore Chiropractic, sponsor of Marissa; Davis Agency, sponsor of Allison and Cain Accounting, sponsor of Brianna.
The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank : Miss Wisconsin, Courtney Pelot, for her appearance; Lauren Resch, Patty Trepanier and Sara Perrizo, judges for the contest; Oconto Legion Golf Club for hosting the meal for the judging; Vital Signs for the car signs, The Reporter and WOCO for publicity for the contest, Image Apparel for providing the sashes, crown and prizes, and Oconto Floral for the flowers for the crowning.
MISS COPPERFEST SINCE THE BEGINNING 1983-2016
1983 – CINDY GROLL DUFEK
1984 – LORI ZAHN
1985- LAURA BRABANT (JOHNSON)
1986 – THERESA CAMPBELL (GAGE)
1987 – LORI SULLIVAN (ZAVADA)
1988- AMY YOUNG (CISAR)
1989 – APRIL STROM
1990 – LISA STEIER
1991 – SHEILA CAMPBELL (VANDERLOOP)
1992 – WAUNELL TREPANIER
1993 – MANDY FREASE
1994 – SARA SULLIVAN (PERRIZO)
1995 – SHANNON HANES
1996 – FRANCESCA WESOLOSKI
1997 – JENNIFER SCHMIT
1998 – NICHOL HARTMAN
1999- MELISSA BARRIBEAU
2000- MANDY EICHMAN
2001 – JENNIFER WERNER
2003 – KRISTIN HEROUX
2004 – LAUREN BAKE
2005 – AMANDA CALDIE
2006 – BOBBIE JO PANSIER
2007 – AMANDA SAMSA
2008 – LEXI OLSON
2009 – JESSICA THOMPSON
2010 – LAUREN CALDIE
2011 – CHERRAN DEA RASMOVICZ
2012 – SERENA DICKINSON
2013 – KELLY LOBERGER
2014 – CAMILLE SOWLE
2015 – LAKEN JAMES
2016 – CARLEE BEHNKE
2017- MARISSA DIAZ
The Chamber sponsored “Restaurant Week 2017 April 23-29 for the 4th consecutive year. A little over 1100 votes were cast at the various food establishments. Customers were given slips were to fill out indicating their favorite restaurant and menu item. The Chamber is pleased to announce that Wayne’s Family Restaurant is the 2017 winner. They were voted as serving the best pie in town, stuffed hash browns and Swedish pancakes. Check out their extensive menu items. The restaurant is located at 805 Brazeau Ave.
Angry Eddies located at 1131 Main St. was voted as having the best big pretzel in town as well as specialized pizzas and Gyros.
Brothers 3 is located at 106 Superior Ave. and still seems to be a favorite spot for pizza especially the Deluxe, bacon Cheeseburger and Hawaiian pizzas. A drawing was held there and Chris Roberts won a 13” pizza.
Crivello’s located at 818 Main St. is the spot to go for the Vinnie burger, stuffed hash browns and a Jack Daniels burger. Crivello’s was the Restaurant Week winner in 2014
The Oconto Legion Golf Club located at 532 Jefferson St. is the place to go for wings, chicken dinner, and steaks.
Wagner Shell located at 517 Smith Ave. was voted as having some of the best broasted chicken and pizza slices. Why not check out “Wacky Wednesday” for a free package of toilet paper or paper toweling with special purchases.
Wise Guy’s Riverside Bar seems to be the place to go for prime rib, all sorts of burgers and homemade grasshoppers served at the end of many of their entrees. They were the Restaurant Winners in 2015.
Most of our home town food establishments make deliveries and do have carry outs. Benjamin’s Family restaurant was the winner in 2016. Shop and dine locally and “beef” up our local economy.