WOW gets Wittenberg chamber’s top honor

Group named Member of the Year

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Wittenberg Area Chamber of Commerce President Travis Rose, left, presents Walls of Wittenberg representatives Lois Anderson, Elaine Knab, Elaine Diffor and Miriam Nelson with the Member of the Year award at the chamber’s annual banquet Saturday.

The Wittenberg Area Chamber of Commerce honored Walls of Wittenberg as its Member of the Year on Saturday.

WOW President Elaine Knab accepted the award at the chamber’s annual banquet.

“I’d like to thank the chamber for appreciating the many visitors WOW attracts to the area, as well as, the many events we offer to our communities,” Knab said, “but you all should give yourself a pat on the back because it is thanks to you all, our wonderful art partners, sponsors, event attendees and volunteers that make it happen.”

Walls of Wittenberg is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote Wittenberg through art. Formed in 2005 to hire professional artists to paint murals on the outside walls of local businesses, the organization has expanded its focus to include the following:

• The former Gwidt pharmacy building was donated to WOW by Joe and Kathy Gwidt. With substantial donations from Lois Smith and Bob and Darlene Nueske, it has been refurbished into an art gallery known as the WOWSPACE, an acronym which stands for Walls of Wittenberg Special Projects and Community Enhancement.

• The WOWSPACE is host to four free art shows each year.

• There is also a comedic theater production each fall and a murder mystery dinner theater in the winter performed by Crossroads Community Theatre, the performing arts branch of WOW.

• The adjacent Art Park has seven sculptures and a permanent band platform for the summer Concert in the Art Park series.

Zach Popp and Kristeanna Crick were acknowledged for their three years of service as board members.

”We’re grateful for the commitment to the chamber Zach and Kristeanna provided and look forward to working with those who choose to take their places on the board,” President Travis Rose.

Rose also mentioned that the membership has stayed steady over the past few years, between 55 and 60 members. He encouraged businesses to continue to give the chamber ideas and said he appreciates the volunteers who help bring events to fruition.

The banquet had a Hawaiian luau theme with tropical food provided by Lisa’s Sweet Shoppe Bakery & Catering.

Magician Jerry Frasier, of Minneapolis, provided the entertainment.