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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: 304023

Reported Deaths: 3580
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin641421113
Ramsey27059502
Anoka21526225
Dakota21268190
Washington13529113
Stearns13524108
St. Louis8433108
Scott820154
Wright746139
Olmsted653534
Sherburne570941
Clay483956
Carver455913
Blue Earth405214
Rice403136
Kandiyohi396821
Crow Wing353431
Nobles304929
Chisago304410
Otter Tail300522
Benton293348
Winona273730
Mower257423
Douglas250735
Polk248923
Morrison228029
Lyon213411
Beltrami211917
McLeod205011
Becker199815
Goodhue196728
Steele19137
Itasca185523
Isanti184917
Todd178413
Carlton177715
Nicollet158725
Freeborn15125
Mille Lacs149931
Le Sueur144911
Cass138610
Waseca137811
Brown136415
Pine13138
Meeker12398
Roseau11454
Hubbard111924
Martin111220
Wabasha10301
Redwood91619
Chippewa8527
Dodge8380
Cottonwood8333
Watonwan8334
Renville83124
Wadena7736
Sibley7724
Rock7569
Aitkin75529
Pipestone71018
Houston6854
Fillmore6770
Yellow Medicine63311
Pennington6277
Kanabec59613
Murray5783
Swift5758
Faribault5422
Pope5281
Stevens5063
Clearwater5058
Jackson4841
Marshall4758
Lake4066
Koochiching3855
Wilkin3715
Unassigned36759
Lac qui Parle3613
Lincoln3511
Norman3417
Big Stone3072
Mahnomen2904
Grant2726
Kittson2138
Red Lake2053
Traverse1461
Lake of the Woods951
Cook660

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 225897

Reported Deaths: 2345
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33451334
Linn14206164
Scott1116385
Black Hawk10849134
Woodbury10323124
Johnson948636
Dubuque918291
Story677621
Dallas633657
Pottawattamie624570
Sioux369125
Webster357833
Cerro Gordo351544
Marshall347846
Clinton327540
Buena Vista304114
Des Moines287920
Muscatine286468
Warren279611
Plymouth274242
Wapello255071
Jones229813
Jasper217443
Marion204320
Lee202217
Carroll197322
Bremer194212
Henry18227
Crawford174316
Benton169519
Tama153840
Jackson144313
Delaware143221
Washington140214
Dickinson138210
Boone136311
Mahaska126727
Wright12336
Clay11714
Buchanan116410
Hardin115010
Page11294
Clayton11105
Hamilton11059
Cedar107413
Harrison106729
Calhoun10617
Kossuth10566
Floyd104116
Mills10407
Fayette103310
Lyon10268
Butler10116
Poweshiek98913
Winneshiek96212
Iowa94612
Winnebago91723
Hancock8607
Louisa85816
Sac8578
Grundy85611
Chickasaw8494
Cherokee8374
Cass80823
Allamakee79911
Mitchell7884
Appanoose78710
Humboldt7695
Union7676
Shelby76211
Emmet76024
Guthrie75215
Franklin73521
Jefferson7112
Madison6804
Unassigned6620
Palo Alto6514
Keokuk5967
Pocahontas5574
Howard5529
Greene5220
Osceola5211
Ida48713
Clarke4824
Taylor4643
Montgomery46211
Davis4619
Monroe44312
Adair4408
Monona4332
Fremont3573
Van Buren3555
Worth3550
Lucas3236
Decatur3160
Wayne2987
Audubon2952
Ringgold2112
Adams1692
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