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State of the Spanish Fork, Salem chamber

I have been asked to give a State of the Chamber message for the Spanish Fork Salem Area Chamber of Commerce after just completing two full weeks of Fiesta Days, which included two nights of pyrotechnics, four nights of pro rodeo in a sold-out arena of 8,500, and more additional activities and events than could fill these pages, including the Saturday morning Fish Rodeo where kids saw their dads and grandpas roll up their denims and go for it.

Yes, the celebration lived up to its theme of "Kick the Dust Up," and you could say - as we move the party dial a bit south to Salem and open the Salem Days celebration - that our chamber, its members, its customers and our local citizens live in one of the bravest and most imaginative places in Utah Valley.

Hopefully you visited Spanish Fork and helped kick up a bit of dust during Fiesta Days and will stop by Pond Town during Salem Days and dip your dusty feet or boots into Salem Pond as the summer slowly ticks down to its end.

With 270 members, up from 240 in January, the Spanish Fork/Salem chamber might easily be said to be the fastest-growing chamber for communities our size in the state of Utah. Count among that activity some 13,000 local children who, as part of the chamber's Play Unplugged program, put down their digital devices and went out to climb a tree, feed a duck, fix a doll at a special clinic at Mt. View Hospital and participate in 40 other activities.  We can probably brag of being one of the quietest or mellowest parts of this great valley.

Yes, the state of our chamber is one of unity, empathy, networking and the sharing of ideas and knowing that, yes, there is more than enough business to go around for all, but it is the quiet grace of our humility that in this world of supposed constant crisis will sustain the support of commerce given out of loyalty and pride of service.

The Farmer's Market began on July 30 at 8 a.m. as the single school bell tolled in the belfry of the Thurber School that now houses the Spanish Fork city offices. But as the bell rang, it did so over a historic Main Street where as a chamber we have been able to award $4,500 in grants to those who want to honor and restore the past history of that street.

Sure, I can jealously say our shops, stores, boutiques, garages and restaurants are the best in all the world. I could do that, but in this world of things "instant," someone or something else will be able to lay claim to that cock's strut and crow.

Instead, let me just invite you to dare. Dare to vote with your support for whomever it is you believe is the best, the bomb, Number One, or the hottest place in town. And I will take a bit of pride by saying I have no doubt that if you do that, we'll be seeing you in our neck of the woods.