Brace your elves! Christmas is coming! Using your jingle bills or change, vote for your favorite Elfie! Donations will be matched up to $250.00 by Newkirk Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds to benefit Newkirk's Angel Tree. We will have 5 elves, aka Newkirk community residents, for whom you can vote from Nov. 2 thru Dec. 2. You can vote at Equity Bank, Apple Market, and Newkirk Chamber of Commerce.
To all of our members: If you are running specials for the holidays or setting different hours, let us know and we will advertise those for you. Doing deliveries or curbside service? Let us know about anything special going on.
To show our appreciation for your membership, if you joined the Chamber during 2020 we are offering 3 months of advertising on our website for free. After that, the cost is $100.00 per year. We will contact those of you who joined in 2020 with information on what you need to do. This will also apply to any new members during 2021.
For Newkirk Businesses looking for answers about the Grant funds and SBA loans available, here's a link to the Guide to the CARES Act. It covers the Paycheck Protection Program, Emergency Economic Injury Grant, and Debt Relief Program.
Link to Business Resources
The Newkirk Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet on Monday, January 20, 2020 at the Newkirk Senior Center. The highlight of the evening was honoring our Business Persons of the Year, John & Pam Miller, owners of Miller-Stahl Funeral Service and Citizen of the Year, Tom Rigdon. Although Pamela Stahl moved to Newkirk in July of 1951 when her parents William H. “Bill” and Evelyn Stahl purchased the Hill Funeral Home and Ambulance Service and started Stahl Funeral Home, she and John Miller were both teachers for Waukomis Public Schools when they met. He taught special education and she taught band and music. They were married and then it wasn't long before they went back to college at what was Central State University in Edmond for John to get his degree in mortuary science with certification as embalmer, funeral director, and eye enucleator. Pamela has always said that they got into this business because she let her husband hang out with her father too much. They moved to Newkirk in 1977 and worked with Bill and Evelyn until Bill passed away in 1981 at which time John and Pamela purchased the business as Miller-Stahl Funeral Service and carried on the family business which has served the people of Newkirk for 68 ½ years.
They have both been very active in their church and also served and supported Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce, with John being past president of both organizations. John has also helped a great many in the community with their computer problems. Pamela has also in previous years shared her love and appreciation of music by giving vocal, flute, and piano lessons to many in the community. They have sacrificed family time, holidays, and vacations in order to be able to serve their community with great care and compassion at a time when it is most needed. Over the years they have always considered it a privilege to serve their community.
Tom Rigdon was honored as the Citizen of the Year, but was unable to attend due to ill health. Tom has been the quiet force for the Newkirk Community for many decades serving as a public servant. He had been the City Attorney from November 1, 1975 until June 15, 2018. He kept the management and governing board for the City of Newkirk on the correct legal path and was always there for advice no matter how small or big the matter at hand. The only compensation he ever received was his monthly retainer and he did more work than that small retainer covered for all those years. Another part Tom has played is being a Trustee for many estates - just a few notables are the Glenn and Madalynne Peel Estates, Horner Estate, Doug and Sandra Cline estates - from these estates there have been many donations to public improvements. A few of these are the Newkirk Public Library building, equipment and programs, Newkirk Senior Citizens Building, playground equipment for the Park, the Newkirk Fitness Path and the Story Walk Project. This is just to name a few there are many, many more over the years.
He has also provided legal advice to many civic groups in the Community - two being the Newkirk Takedown Club and Newkirk Youth Program - there are others - at no expense to keep these programs going for the youth who will eventually be future leaders of Newkirk. The Newkirk Community has and is very important to Tom. He has made valuable contributions to the community to improve it for all the citizens - young to old.
President, Debbie Leaming gave a report on what the Chamber had accomplished during the past year and the focus and vision for 2020. Carrie Grace of Stagecoach BBQ catered the event with heavy hors d'oeuvres. There was also a Silent Auction.
The Newkirk Chamber sponsored the annual lighted Christmas Parade recently. It was another huge success. Winners of the floats following the theme of "Christmas Stories" were Newkirk FFA, 1st Place, Newkirk First Baptist Church, 2nd Place, and Kaw Child Care Center, 3rd Place.
The Snow Princess/Prince Coronation was held in the lobby of the Courthouse. Teagyn Beliel was crowned Snow Princess and the Snow Prince was Easton Wells.
The Chamber recently held a ribbon cutting for a new business in town, Grit & Grace Outdoors. It is located at 712 E. 7th, home of the former Black Jack Bait shop. The shop is owned by Curtis Grace, who recently retired as manager of Two Rivers Coop, and his son Jason Grace. While the store previously focused on fishing bait and tackle, Grace plans to expand to a much broader outdoor offering which will include hunting supplies, as well as general outdoors equipment. If you haven't stopped by yet, you will be impressed with the shop and all of the work that has been done inside.
One of our community’s highest honors, Business Person of the Year, is given to a business leader to recognize the outstanding contributions made by an entrepreneur in our community. Our Business Person of the Year has committed a significant amount of time and capital to many services within the Newkirk community. Beginning his business in 2005, he has grown from pouring driveways and building porches to constructing roads and bridges across multiple states, but always returns to Newkirk, his home. Our 2019 Business Person of the Year is CEO of River Ridge Construction, Darren Wood.