Merrill Chamber celebrates 100 years

There is a sense of celebration in the air around the Merrill Chamber of Commerce these days!

This year the Chamber is 100 years old and a year-long celebration is about to begin. The chamber is planning a special event or activity to take place every month throughout 2011 in celebration of this milestone of their history.

By the hands of C.P Larkin, W.J. Martin and M.C. Porter the first meeting of the Merrill Chamber of Commerce was called to order on Feb. 16, 1911 at 7:30 p.m. in the Common Council room in the City Hall, just three days following approval of the Articles of Incorporation by the State of Wisconsin. The goal was simple – to grow Merrill. The forefathers formed a framework – an all thinking approach to all problems, a community program, vital and real which would come to be known as local action.

Today’s chamber still practices within the original cornerstone of their five local action goals: (1) to foster, promote and advance the industrial, commercial, professional and civic interests of Merrill; (2) develop and incorporate creative leadership in helping to solve community problems and initiating community action; (3) to develop aggressive and dynamic programs which will fully utilize the human and economic resources of the area; (4) to build a community in which all residents have opportunities and a quality environment with good educational, health and recreational advances; and (5) to attract and engage in any lawful business.

In celebration of their successful 100 years of service to their members and community the Merrill Chamber of Commerce has scheduled the following special events and activities: Jan. 17 – launch of their new Merrill postcards; Feb. 19 – 100th Birthday Bash Dinner, Dance & Auction; March – launch of Pot O’Gold Fundraiser to purchase a new exterior digital sign; April – Customer Service workshop with NTC; May – TBA; June 6 Chamber Classic Golf Outing; July – Movie in the Park; Aug. 20-21 A Very Merrill Affaire: a juried “artists in the park” event; September – A Taste of Merrill; Oct. 13 – Annual Dinner Awards; Nov. 5 – Harvest Hoedown; and Dec. 3 – A Merrill O’ Christmas.

“It’s going to be a year of celebration. Celebrating our past, our present and our future,” said Debbe Kinsey, Chamber executive director. “We invite everyone to join in our celebration and become a part of the Chamber’s story, a part of our future history.”

For more information on any of the anniversary events contact the Chamber at 715-536-9474 or visit their website at

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