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Rolling out the red carpet at annual chamber meeting

Members of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce were given a taste of Hollywood during their annual chamber meeting

Posted: Oct 2, 2020 2:10 AM
Updated: Oct 2, 2020 2:39 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It's been a tough year for everyone, including some members that make up the Mason City Chamber of Commerce.

Each year during the Chamber's annual meeting, members share their contributions and progress have made over the past year. But for the 104th meeting, there was a bit of a different flair to it. Using the theme 'The Show Must Go On', the meeting was held at Cinema West, with attendees encouraged to dress up in black tie attire. The theme was chosen as a way to evoke the spirit of staying strong and adapting during these uncertain times.

In attendance at the meeting was Ann Papouchis, the co-owner of Northwestern Steakhouse. Since it opened by her husband Bill's father Tony in 1920, it has been kept in the family for 100 years. Like many other businesses, Northwestern was forced to adjust due to the pandemic; at first, the restaurant was closed for 10 weeks, but they were able to receive some money through the paycheck protection program, and reopened through curb-side service in May. This week, dine-in service resumed.

"I've been in tears many times, because the customers have been so happy coming in to eat. We've had really good feedback for carryout service, but the joy is really coming inside to eat."

This year, Northwestern was the recipient of the Business of the Year Award. With this being her first year in attendance at the meeting, Papouchis felt like the day shined.

"I feel like it was like Hollywood out here with the red carpet and backdrops and being able to get your picture taken! It was glorious! I'll have to go next year to see what a normal one looks like."

The theme for this year's meeting was inspired by the efforts to get actor Hugh Jackman, who is slated to play Harold Hill in the Broadway remake of The Music Man next year, to come to this year's Band Festival. And with everything going on in the world right now, Chamber program director Kativa Weitzel knew it was important to keep this message alive.

"Hollywood shut down, but we can't shut down. We have to keep going. We have to honor and value our community. That's what the Chamber is about."

To select the winners of the awards, Weitzel says it wasn't an easy process. 

"We had so many nominations. The businesses nominate different businesses. We get so many nominations, and they're all so good that it's just like, 'can we honor all of them?'"

Going forward, Weitzel says this year's theme is a great tie-in to a forward thinking vision as society adjusts and the economy begins to rebound.

"'The show must go on' is going to be prevalent in the rest of 2020 and 2021, and we will incorporate it how we can. We're just ready to move on to the next thing, and quit holding back, and growing our community stronger, and North Iowa strong, for the rest of the time."

Recipients of this year's awards include:

Boss of the Year: Matt Curtis from Wayne's Ski & Cycle

Business of the Year: Northwestern Steakhouse

Worksite Wellness: Curries and Smithfield

Distinguished Citizen: Waldo Smeby

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485655

Reported Deaths: 6558
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1007641586
Ramsey43106801
Dakota36297390
Anoka33293385
Washington22078256
Stearns18734201
St. Louis14805262
Scott13290107
Wright12526115
Olmsted1178988
Sherburne872872
Carver772640
Clay691587
Rice670491
Blue Earth594735
Kandiyohi579574
Crow Wing520681
Chisago499045
Otter Tail482170
Benton446490
Winona418349
Mower404731
Douglas392668
Nobles387047
Goodhue385768
Polk343162
McLeod339349
Beltrami337951
Morrison324547
Itasca313046
Lyon313044
Becker311342
Isanti306154
Steele300411
Carlton300149
Pine282016
Freeborn280723
Nicollet258641
Todd248030
Brown245037
Le Sueur235320
Mille Lacs227447
Cass220024
Waseca208717
Meeker207434
Martin189528
Wabasha18653
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15224
Renville149640
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134416
Wadena130920
Faribault123017
Aitkin118833
Sibley117310
Watonwan11738
Rock115714
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9448
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8045
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake74018
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68416
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned46768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362827

Reported Deaths: 5440
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58260551
Linn20670313
Scott18318210
Black Hawk16258292
Woodbury14979211
Johnson1384874
Dubuque13562194
Dallas1138690
Pottawattamie10791143
Story1024945
Warren556674
Clinton543784
Cerro Gordo533782
Webster519587
Marshall497272
Sioux494869
Buena Vista474537
Des Moines458861
Muscatine452291
Wapello4345108
Jasper417766
Plymouth395378
Lee375452
Marion359169
Jones294154
Henry293337
Carroll286249
Bremer280854
Crawford275135
Boone259730
Washington254347
Benton253854
Mahaska224746
Jackson221638
Dickinson217840
Tama213765
Kossuth208555
Clay193625
Hamilton192142
Delaware189140
Winneshiek189127
Buchanan185729
Fayette185235
Page183319
Hardin181439
Wright179931
Harrison179469
Cedar178523
Clayton168154
Butler167231
Mills163020
Floyd162741
Cherokee154836
Madison154718
Poweshiek154330
Hancock147130
Allamakee146747
Lyon145941
Iowa145023
Appanoose139247
Grundy139230
Jefferson138734
Winnebago138631
Cass134751
Calhoun133811
Mitchell130940
Louisa128241
Union126631
Chickasaw125215
Sac124618
Emmet121740
Shelby121733
Franklin118319
Humboldt117925
Guthrie116628
Palo Alto105221
Montgomery104136
Howard102921
Clarke100420
Unassigned9900
Keokuk98229
Monroe93328
Adair92128
Ida91432
Pocahontas85419
Davis83123
Monona81627
Greene77510
Lucas74021
Osceola70615
Worth6997
Taylor66612
Fremont5909
Decatur5829
Van Buren56118
Ringgold52320
Wayne48921
Audubon4889
Adams3274
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