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Forsyth Chamber luncheon includes highlights from Sen. Hawley's office

Forsyth Area Chamber of Commerce members and guests gathered at Lake Taneycomo Elks Lodge on Tuesday, May 14, for the monthly luncheon. Recently-appointed Chamber Vice President David Veldman of Finish Line Performance Service welcomed the group, and David “Mac” McAllister led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the invocation prayer led by board member Joe Boyd.

 

While attendees enjoyed lunch catered by Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant, Chamber President Rose Backlin thanked everyone who volunteered at Spring Fling in April, a great success with several new events. Planning is already underway for the Harvest Moon festival, October 5, and volunteers are appreciated.

 

Featured guest speaker was Erin Engelmeyer, district director for Senator Josh Hawley. She opened her presentation by reminding attendees that their senators and representatives can provide valuable constituent services, including assistance contacting federal agencies such as the IRS, Veterans Administration, Social Security, and others, which can unfortunately be difficult to navigate. A recent example involved a widow who had commissioned quilts to be made using her late husband’s U.S. Marine Corps uniforms. In being forwarded to a temporary address, the quilts were lost in the mail and the Postal Service had not yet responded, but with help from members of Congress including Sen. Hawley, the search was expedited and the quilts found. The staff can also help with passport renewals, another frequent backlog.

 

Sen. Hawley serves on the Judiciary, Homeland Security, Energy/Natural Resources, and Small Business committees. With regard to legislation and sponsored bills, his top priorities include these:

-        A strong border, particularly as it affects the fentanyl crisis;

-        The economy, opening up U.S. energy production;

-        Inflation, bringing critical supply needs back to the U.S. to create jobs;

-        Radiation exposure compensation, especially in St. Louis where the government has never addressed health issues dating back to the Manhattan Project during WWII;

-        A strong stance regarding China, prohibiting the buying of U.S. farmland by Chinese companies and stopping CCP invasion of privacy via spy balloons and TikTok;

-        Social media, particularly its impact on youth.

 

An immediate focus is the Time to Choose Act, which prohibits government contracting with consulting firms simultaneously contracted with China. Sen. Hawley is also working on legislation to reauthorize funding for mental health services for first responders.

 

Following Ms. Engelmeyer’s presentation, Rose Backlin thanked lunch sponsor TriLakes Professional Services, which provides financial and tax services; and dessert sponsor Shane Keys, a candidate for Eastern District 2 Taney County Commission. A lifelong Taney County resident, Keys affirmed his ongoing commitment to professionalism, integrity and transparency, reflected in his years of law enforcement service.

 

Business of the month for the May luncheon was Integrity Heating & Air. Drawn from among monthly luncheon attendees, the winner is featured in a video and receives a gift certificate, plus the opportunity to share about their business at the next luncheon.

 

Members shared more exciting things happening around Taney County:  

-        Christian Action Ministries is hosting a paddle party May 23, and planning a fundraiser golf tournament for October.

-        Forsyth Farmers Market is now open 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday; 50-plus vendors offer fresh food, local meat, baked goods, arts and crafts, and much more.

-        Sponsors are needed for the 4th of July celebration in Rockaway Beach, hailed as one of the area’s best fireworks displays; contact Charyle Soyland, charyle@lsrmo.com, for sponsorship information.

 

Mark your calendar for the June 11 luncheon, which will feature a speaker from Elevate Branson’s Elevate Rides program. Come and find out how reliable, affordable employee transportation for employees can benefit area businesses.

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