May is here! This has been a great spring for Johnston. The temperatures have been mild and the community is doing well.
I have been traveling a fair amount for my work (I am writing this note from the Netherlands). It is great to see other parts of the world. I, probably like most, often compare the locations to which I travel to Johnston. I enjoy looking at what we do better and what other locations do differently. On this trip, I saw many people riding bikes to and from work and school. I was reminded of a meeting in which the planners of the Green Meadows development gave a speech on their goals for the community. Their vision was to build a community that allowed walking and biking throughout the town – that is why they built bike paths in the communities and linked them to schools and businesses. In my opinion, this is one of the foundations that make Johnston unique. The access to paths and parks is fantastic and a great asset to an active community. Now, if I could just use the paths to ride my bike to and from work!
Another asset in the community is the strong school system. In May of each year, the Chamber recognizes the educators in the community. The Annual Educator Appreciation Banquet, held by the Johnston Chamber, is on May 6th at the Camp Dodge Freedom Center. This provides the business community an opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication. The banquet is attended by over 400 educators and staff. At the banquet, we thank the educators by providing a dinner and prizes donated by Chamber members. The goal is to provide a fun environment for the employees of the Johnston schools.
I would be remiss if I did not thank the 40-plus businesses that will be donating prizes and sponsoring the event. A special thank you also goes to Rachel McCann from Middendorf Insurance and her committee for working on this for the past several months. I would also like to thank Camp Dodge for allowing us to use the Freedom Center.
I would also like to offer congratulations to the retirees who will be recognized for their many years of service to Johnston Community Schools. Thank you for the time you invested in the children and our school system. They are: Dave Beason, Julie Brown, Tracy Grasso, Jana Jongewaard, Marcia King, Tom Mitchell, Barb Nesbitt, Susan Wall and Barb Weaver.
Finally, preparations for the annual Johnston Green Days are well under way. It will be held June 18-21st. Please put a place holder on your calendar. It is a great opportunity to take the kids to the carnival and/or catch up with neighbors while the bands play. There is also still time to get involved. If you would like to volunteer during the event, please contact Heather at the Chamber by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will get you connected.
See our Chamber website at www.johnstonchamber.com for upcoming networking events. These are great opportunities to meet business people from the community.