Kenai Chamber celebrates 60 years of supporting commerce

It’s been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the diamond anniversary of the Kenai Chamber proved that for 60 years from Peggy Arness to Johna Beech and all the executive directors in-between that the Kenai Chamber has been local businesses best friend.“Following Peggy was Sue Carter then I believe Laura Measles so we have quite a few CEO’s still with us in the community, so I think there is a link between longevity and serving the community.I think the Kenai Chamber is actually good for your health,” commented current Kenai Chamber CEO Johna Beech.

The Kenai Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1954 before the City of Kenai was a municipality and before the Kenai Peninsula Borough was chartered.

The traditional KCC wine tasting fund raising event that is held annual in the fall was moved forward to April 12th to allow for a year of celebratory events planned for the Chambers 60th Anniversary. The annual awards banquet has been switched to a luncheon to be held this summer June 25th rather than in the winter, according to Beech. “We’ll be honoring our community award winners in this special year along with another 60th Anniversary party. We’re looking for time capsules or wine from the original wine tasting event, so it’s going to be a very special celebration all year long,” she said.

At the sellout dress up event held at the Old Carr’s Mall in Kenai 300 some faithful supporters donned their Sunday best and enjoyed a delicious feast prepared by Steve and Bobbie England of Kenai Catering and the new owners of the Merit Inn. The celebration included a myriad of opportunities to win, from Sportsmen’s Warehouse wall of guns to silver key items at the live auction that had a key attached and gave the winning bidder a one in four chance of winning a trip to Mexico.

The lucky winning key was purchased by Travis Burnett of Magnum Motors.The Title Sponsor this year was XTO Energy.