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Annual chamber dinner canceled; August Welge named to chamber board

updated: 6/23/2020 8:51 AM

The Chester Chamber of Commerce resumed monthly board meetings on June 12 after a three-month hiatus.

One of the first orders of business was a change in command, as Bob Welker was sworn in as chamber board president for the next two years.

Outgoing two-year President Gwendy Garner will remain a chamber director. was praised as being always willing to pitch in on anything passed the gavel to Welker. Meanwhile, Bruce Luthy begins a two-year dual role as vice president and treasurer.

Canceled events
Due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the chamber's annual dinner and Citizen of the Year event were canceled as well as several chamber fundraisers. The Mystery Dinner and Night at the Races may be held in late fall depending on protocols set by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The annual golf tournament will be held Oct. 9, 2020, at the Chester Country Club.

The Chamber office, deemed an essential business, has remained open several hours a day during the pandemic, but the Welcome Center has not been open to the public. Appointments to meet with the chamber executive director can be made at (618) 826-2721. The dwindling number of volunteers who are willing to work at the city's Welcome Center was discussed along with several other issues.

Other news
• The chamber agreed to renew its membership with the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce.
• Six applications were received for the $1,000 Chamber of Commerce scholarship, but Honors Night will not be held this year. The recipient of the award will be notified by the scholarship committee.
• Long time board member and strong chamber/business advocate, Don Welge, was fondly remembered. His untimely passing resulted in a vacancy on the chamber board. Austin Welge was nominated to fill the position and approved. Austin, a grandson of Don's, recently accepted a position at Gilster-Mary Lee as Account Representative in Sales. The chamber welcomes Austin to the board and the Chester community.
• Rozier's Country Market was recognized as the Chester Chamber's June Business of the Month. What started in 2002, when members of the Lottes family and Rozier's in Perryville invested in the City of Chester, is now a staple of Chester. The market is under the management of Robert Welker, and is open 7 days a week. During the past few months, employees have worked tirelessly when many were quarantined or opted to stay home. From their full service deli and bakery, to their excellent meat department and well stocked liquor department, Rozier's is a one-stop/shop market. Bob Welker and staff are commended for jobs well done.
• The Chester Chamber remains viable and strong and will work to assist businesses and members in any way possible. Businesses are encouraged to reach out to the Chamber for assistance and guidance.

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