Althoff: Golf outing, parade made for busy month
The month of June is officially in our rearview mirror … and what a month it was. The combination of the Chamber of Commerce’s two biggest events of the year – our annual golf outing fundraiser and the Big Top Parade – made for a raucous month. We’re tired, but very satisfied with the outcome of both events.
The golf outing is our largest fundraiser of the year and this year’s Golf Classic did not disappoint. We had a full field of 144 golfers, beautiful weather and wonderful hosts in the Baraboo Country Club and Fore Seasons Restaurant. Dozens of our members were very generous with donations for the raffle prize drawings and the silent auction component of the event.
With the golf outing in the books, we quickly pivoted to focusing on all the last-minute details associated with the Big Top Parade. Planning an event of this magnitude is a huge undertaking, and we could not have done it without the deep involvement of the Big Top Parade Committee – co-chaired by Nanci Caflisch and Doug Hill – and the tireless efforts of Circus World Executive Director Scott O’Donnell and Ringmaster Dave SaLoutos. We had incredible cooperation from the City of Baraboo, which donates thousands of dollars of in-kind services to help make the parade a success. Sauk County, Baraboo District Ambulance Service and area law enforcement also were valuable partners who provided the services necessary to create a safe and secure environment. Throw in several dozen volunteers, and you have yourself an 80-unit, hour-long parade that would be the envy of cities much larger than Baraboo.
While the weather was less than ideal, the rain did abate prior to the parade and held off until the last units were covering the final couple of blocks. Thousands of people – many from out of town – were treated to a first-class parade. Among the many positive comments we received was this one from a woman who lives in Valentine, Nebraska:
“My sister lives in Baraboo, and so we try annually to come to Circus World. This year we chose to come to the Circus World Parade – and wow! we so enjoyed it!!!! … the many sponsors who promoted the parade, the high school bands, the horse-led entries, the elephants, the Pirate costuming throughout the parade(!), the hooks and/or patches on many participants, the old-fashioned bikes, the elephants, the gifts of candy (my grandchildren enjoyed that), some pirate jokes presented by participants, the Circus World wagons, some with bands or one with snakes inside it – ALL was so enjoyable!”
That sort of affirmation is what it’s all about.
On a sad note
On June 13, we lost a friend, community supporter and all-around great person in Chris Anderson. I got to know Chris shortly after moving to Baraboo in 2004 and always admired his commitment to so many causes in Baraboo, his zest for life, and especially his deep involvement in all things Chamber of Commerce. Rest in peace, my friend.