And just like that, 2019 is drawing to a close.

And just like that, 2019 is drawing to a close. It’s been quite the whirlwind year here at the Chamber and not a minute of it could have happened without the support and dedication from our Sleepy Eye businesses and community members.

It was another year of growth, change and progress for Sleepy Eye! Our community and our Chamber members have been at the forefront of much of that advancement and even with the Del Monte news, we still look ahead with hope. We gained nine new Chamber members in 2019 and were finally satiated with the highly anticipated opening of the Sleepy Eye Coffee Co. and Brewing Co. inside the renovated PIX Theater! Our Sleepy Eye Event Center played host to our Safety Day Camp for the first time and the 225 students were delighted, “I feel like we’re in a fancy hotel.” said one. We partnered with six Chamber businesses and eighteen Sleepy Eye vendors to bring the first Age Strong, Live Long Pre-Senior Expo to the community; and we rounded out the year with hosting the #OnlyinMN monument to draw seasonal attention to our Holiday Lights in Motion experience.

The Sleepy Eye Golf Club was named our 2019 Business of the Year recipient. Nominations were sent in expressing the beautifully maintained golf course, expansive driving range, fabulous outdoor patio and a full-service kitchen; all of which make for an enjoyable experience. The club’s efforts the last few years, updating both the greens and the clubhouse, as well as holding events to bring locals and surrounding communities to Sleepy Eye, were another reason for their selection.

Our 58th Annual Buttered Corn Days weekend brought in record numbers of visitors to our city and created our most profitable event to date. The Servicemen’s Club, and Heide and the Good Old Boys, packed them in at our Sleepy Eye Street Dance — creating a new staple for our celebratory weekend. And to pacify the corn hungry visitors we added roasted sweet corn to our BBQ Cookoff event (with a little help from our Sleepy Eye Sportsmen’s Club). Look for this addition to happen again next year, along with a few other new happenings. Because, we will still have Buttered Corn Days…it may look a little different, but we’re gonna make it happen.

Schroepfer Inc. was named the 2019 Manufacturing & Technology Award recipient. The recent relocation and expansion of their facilities to the south end our city, as well as their partnership with the local implement dealers and various trucking outfits, gives our area businesses a huge advantage over competitors who must travel for service. Schroepfer Inc.’s cross-country hauling, installation of diesel pumps, new tire technician, and focus on a high standard of preventative maintenance, paired with late model equipment to eliminate down time, are just a few of the reasons for their selection as this year’s Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing & Technology award recipient.

Our vibrant and promising Young Professionals Group continues to make an impactful presence on our growing community. This group brought Food Trucks to town in May and the community literally ‘ate it up.’ And, whether it’s the beginnings of a new coffee house and brew pub, starting a new taco truck, or hosting ‘pop up’ shops in hopes for more business to come to our town, our Sleepy Eye Young Professionals are fostering progress.

Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Well, I would like to extend my overwhelming thanks to you and all our Sleepy Eye Chamber businesses for allowing us to ‘dare greatly’ over this past year. I can’t wait to see what this new decade brings us!