By Paul Rhodes
CHENEY – The local FFA Chapter gave a presentation to the Cheney Chamber of Commerce at their August meeting, and updated the Chamber on a number of projects the FFA group is tackling.
Guest speakers were Stacey DeVore, Cheney’s FFA sponsor, and two of her students, Camryn DeVore and Jayleigh Wehrman. They all spoke about their programs and goals.
Cheney’s FFA program started in the 1970s but eventually stopped due to the retirement of the teacher. This program was restarted in 2017 and had 10 students involved.
This number has grown to 97 students between the Middle and High School this year. This is an agriculture-based program and students are required to complete an out-of-classroom project to show responsibility.
Cheney’s FFA has a goal to serve the community as well as educate. Currently the chapter is looking to expand the program outside of the classroom and would like to have a greenhouse built. Their summer fireworks stand raised $16,500. So far $58,000 has been raised with a rough remaining goal of $25,000.
“Our goal is to be self-sustaining with the greenhouse,” said Stacey DeVore. “This will be a great opportunity for the students.”
Chamber members noted that they want to help support the greenhouse project, and voted to donate $300.
In other business at their meeting, the Chamber:
• Heard a treasurer’s report that showed an ending balance of $5,046 for the Chamber account and $2,313 in the Christmas Light Funds. Cheney Bucks rests at $6,014. Treasurer Marcia Kampling spoke about the successful Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies for six businesses, and checks that had been received and written.
• Heard a school report that also was given by Marcia Kampling. School started Thursday, Aug. 12. Due to a federal mandate, all bus riders will be required to wear a mask while on the bus, and non-compliance with this mandate could see the district lose its funding. The district has potentially hired two new bus drivers. Masks are optional for the start of the school year outside of buses. An Ice Cream Social hosted by the Chamber went well.
• Heard a city report that was presented by city administrator Danielle Young, who apologized for the water pressure that the town was experiencing. She said the inside of the Water Tower was being repainted for the first time in 20 years. Young also spoke about turnout for the Bingo and Music event that was at the Pavilion at Cherry Oaks, and said only one food truck was able to come due to size of event. The Swimming Pool Committee is continuing to review the feedback from the public survey and see what adjustments need to be made, if any. COVID-19 numbers for the Cheney Zip Code were up 12 positive cases from the previous week.
• Noted a memorial service for Tom Gronniger that will be held at Souder’s Museum Sunday, Sept. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Chamber is considering purchasing a tree that will be planted in memory of Gronniger, who was the caretaker at Souder’s Museum.
· Discussed the KWCH yearly Hometown Pride advertising campaign. Twelve local businesses are needed for this offer. The Chamber will send an email to all local businesses.
· Noted that the school district still has availability for the new advertising program the school district is using. Email the Chamber for information.