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A St. Patty's Day toast to opportunity

Week of St. Patrick’s day!!! Wearin of the green!!! It’s good to be Irish this week, heck, it’s good to be Irish every week. I believe St. Patrick is credited with chasing the snakes out of Ireland. I am sure he is a Saint for other reasons as well. Let’s make sure we patronize our local restaurants to enjoy their St. Patrick’s day food offerings. It’s all good. Help yourself people.

I did attend the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs this week in Springfield. This annual conference is presented by Western Illinois University. The gathering brings together people from all over the state that are there to listen to ideas to better their own communities. Presentations are made concerning success ideas on bringing business to town. There are ideas about bettering your main street. Many discussions and presentations about the young families and youth of the town, and how to keep them in town. There are agencies there that inform and promote government grants and loans. Just like so many other conferences you may attend, you come away with many thoughts and ideas. As I sat there and listened to presenters from other small towns, Wyoming, Illinois, Durand, Illinois, and others, I saw our town in my mind. I gotta tell you people, we have much to offer, and we really are not that bad off. Employment and business was a big part of the conference. We have both. Always room for more, but we are very fortunate in comparison of others. Another big part of the conference were conversations on quality of life, and education. Education for the needs of today, and smaller town employers. Sit back and think about our major employers in town. Technology knowledge, as well as the ability to work with building skills. Carpenter skills, welding skills, engineering skills, medical skills, all working with your hands as well as your brain. All good jobs as well as careers. We have that to offer here in Walnut. That’s all on this for now, I have a packet to deliver to Village Board, and there will be more from this conference. Chamber is dedicated to continue to build and renew the great assets we have here, those assets are our town and people within. We need everyone’s dedication to get this done. Get started.

The Walnut Chamber annual banquet is pretty well planned. We will have a good line up for the evening, and encourage all members to attend. There will be displays and presentations from local business. It’s time to get your reservations in. Drop off your banquet invite, or call me. 815-441-5715 is my phone number, or send to Walnut Chamber, PO Box 56, Walnut. I am gathering renewals and Banquet reservations every day. We need to make final meal plans this week to be fair to Dan and Lisa. This is your banquet, and we encourage all to attend. Jerry Fairbanks will offer the Hall of Fame recognition again this year, I hope you all took advantage of making a nomination.

The Methodist church will offer Open Table again this week. This will be the 2nd offering, and promises to be as successful as the last. Wednesday evening church basement is the gathering. Do yourself a favor and attend this evening of fellowship and good will. This is a good thing for our town. Good job Susan your efforts are appreciated.

Time to get to work. I want to leave all of you with this thought. Walnut is a great town and community. We have lots to be thankful for as well as much to be proud of. There is a feeling of momentum and concern. Momentum for all the good things that are either happening, or in the works. Concern over, we need to be even more aggressive toward keeping all the good things we have and building on our youth and their presence in our community. There is a new alert, or battle cry, which ever you embrace. “New structural change is coming to Rural America”. I assure you, if we do not get more aggressive over different opportunities in our town to lure our young people to come home or stay here another town will. It’s happening everywhere. Thanks for your efforts, have a good week.

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