By George Althoff
June is in our rearview mirror and all I have to say is, “What a month!” Within a span of 18 days, the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce held its biggest fundraiser of the year – the annual Golf Classic – and spearheaded the presentation of Baraboo’s annual Big Top Parade, which drew a crowd of close to 25,000 to downtown Baraboo. Time consuming? Definitely. Rewarding? Absolutely!
The golf outing, as is usually the case, drew a full field of 144 golfers. A brief period of rain at the start of the event did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants one iota. The day was replete with camaraderie, great golf, dozens of raffle and silent auction prizes, and dinner at the Fore Seasons. Thank you to all of the businesses that provided financial support to make this event a winner.
Likewise, the Big Top Parade was a huge success, thanks to the efforts of many organizations. The Chamber, the Big Top Parade Committee, Circus World, the City of Baraboo, Sauk County and dozens of business supporters all played a role in treating parade-goers to a one-of-a-kind, only-in-Baraboo event. The parade Grand Marshals – Circus World elephants Viola and Kelly – were just twoof many highlights of this outstanding parade. “The girls,” as they are affectionately known by Circus World staff, will be retiring to a wildlife sanctuary in Oklahoma at the end of the summer.
Although the golf outing and the parade were front and center in June, they weren’t the only matters of significance taken up by your Chamber. Your Board of Directors was busy handling two other matters of importance to the full Chamber membership.
City of Baraboo room tax agreement
After several months of discussion and negotiations, the Chamber and Downtown Baraboo Inc. (DBI) have reached an agreement under which our two organizations will share room tax revenue generated by lodging establishments in the City of Baraboo.
Currently, the Chamber is the recipient of all such revenue. However, with the additional revenue that will be generated by the new Fairfield Inn & Suites Baraboo – and the potential for other hotel developments within the city limits in the future – the Chamber board decided that a revenue sharing agreement with DBI was the right thing to do and would greatly enhance the efforts of both organizations to attract tourists to the area.
In the coming weeks, we will submit our proposal to the City Council for consideration. Stay tuned to the Chamber Review for further developments.
Chamber creates foundation
Earlier this year, the Board of Directors voted in favor of creating a Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, for the purposes of “educational and charitable activities.” Articles of incorporation have been filed with the State of Wisconsin and the foundation will be filing for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service.
The Board of Directors for the foundation is comprised of Dan Lewison, President; Nicole Marklein, Vice President and Treasurer; and Raegen Trimmer, Secretary. At the risk of repeating myself, stay tuned to the Chamber Review for further developments!