Columbia Bank

Wherever you are headed, Columbia Bank has the people and resources to help get you there. It starts with “Hello.” They never forget a name of a face. Real human beings answer their phones. Their commitment to providing all the services required to help the build strong Northwest communities is firmly rooted in their DNA.

They started in 1993 as a community bank. While their community has grown and their computers have shrunk, they are still the same bank that puts people first. Columbia Bank is a Northwest community bank headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, with comprehensive solutions and expertise to meet the evolving needs of businesses and individuals.

Growth is vital to remaining a preferred option for customers. It advances the services and expertise they provide on their customers’ behalf. Columbia Bank has grown both organically and through acquisition, in cases where they recognized the benefits of a strong fiscal and cultural fit. In the process, they have leveraged their community-minded, locally committed way of doing business from a single branch to a 150+ branch regional footprint throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Today they employ a wide range of extraordinarily smart and devoted people, delivering relationship-based customer service. Most important, they have maintained their dedication to being THE community bank in each and every community they serve.

They demonstrate this commitment through their comprehensive approach to community engagement, empowering employees to address the unique needs of their communities through four distinct pillars: fundraising, employee giving, volunteerism, and company giving. Providing support through these employee-driven pillars allows them to have the greatest impact in the communities they serve. Because of these efforts, they are deeply woven into the fabric of our communities.

People truly do make the difference.

Corn on the Cob Day

“A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.”

~ Anne Bronte

In the height of summer, under a cornflower blue sky filled with cotton-ball clouds, and the smell of grilled meat fills the air. Children are laughing and playing in the creek, and the adults are setting up the picnic tables with red solo cups and paper plates. In the middle of the table sits a large Tubberware bowl covered with a layer of aluminum foil, steam gently escaping from around the edges, rich with the smell of corn on the cob. Corn on the Cob Day celebrates events like these, and the gathering of family around the sweetest healthy treat you’ll ever have!

Corn on the cob is also known in different regions as pole corn, cornstick, sweet pole, butter-pop or long maize. A corn cob is the central woody part of maize or corn on which the corn grains are attached. The corn cob is also part of the corn plant’s flower, and the individual kernels are seeds of the plant.

The history of Corn on the Cob Day goes back to a time before European Settlers actually came to America. Corn is a new world plant that has become more important staple in dishes all over the world, and the by-products of it have been used in quite literally millions of different products. In the America’s High Fructose Corn Syrup is found in almost every candy, and certainly, in every carbonated beverage you can imagine.

Celebrating Corn on the Cob Day is simple, cook up some corn on the cob and enjoy it with a delicious heap of butter and salt! But that opens the doorway to a whole variety of options all by itself. Wrap your corn on the cob in aluminum foil and let it roast in the coals of your campfire, or boil it on your stove until it’s positively bursting with deliciousness. Add butter for a base, and then dust it with seasonings of your choice. Simple salt can work, or you can use seasoning salt, pepper, or any of a variety of spices that suit your palette.

American Legion, Post 20

They have been here, in Dallas, for more than 93 years, and are looking forward to serving many, many more years with our help and participation!

The American legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization with a membership of 2.4 million men and women.

All veterans of honorable service during a wartime period, and those currently serving on active duty, are eligible to belong to The American Legion. Congress chartered The American Legion in 1919 as a veterans service organization. Since its founding, The American Legion has remained focused on activities that honor God and country.

The American Legion is also the most active veterans organization in striving to protect benefits earned by all veterans through honorable military service. The American Legion continues to fight for the full repeal of the Disabled Veterans Tax (sometimes called “Concurrent Receipt”), a strong veterans health care system and strong quality of life for U.S. military members and their families.

As the war on terrorism continues U.S. forces remain deployed in countries around the world. Today’s service members are some of the finest men and women ever to put on uniforms, yet they are over-deployed and under-paid. Working with the Commander-in-chief, Congress, and the Department of Defense, The American Legion seeks to ensure that the military’s pay, benefits and force readiness needs are met.

Although The American Legion has international presence, it is more that simply a veteran organization – it is very much a community-based service organization. Among the programs conducted regularly are community Veterans Day and Memorial Day observations, Blue Star Salutes honoring local military families and supportive businesses, American Legion Baseball, Junior Shooting Sports, a High School Oratorical contest and American Legion Boys State and Nation. The American Legion is one of the nation’s largest supporters of Scouting and the largest single donor organization of blood to the American Red Cross. Members of local American Legion posts provide volunteer funeral details to render military honors for fallen comrades. The American Legion’s child Welfare Foundation donates over a quarter of a million dollars each year to worthy children and youth programs. The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund provides immediate financial assistance to fellow Legionnaires and their families displaced by natural disasters. Legionnaires record over a million volunteer hours annually in VA medical facilities throughout the nation and they reinvest millions of dollars back into local communities through cash donations.

Thank you American Legion for serving those that served our country.

Kurt Van Meter

“Straight up, I should be dead,” Kurt Van Meter once cheerfully told a reporter. At 1:30 pm Friday, November 21, 2009, then police officer Van Meter responded to a call from his sergeant saying that shots had been fired in downtown Hillsboro. When the high-speed car chase through the busiest stretch of Portland’s sprawling suburb ended, Van Meter stood only a few paces from the deranged gunman.

“He jumped out of the Honda with the silver .50 caliber Desert Eagle in one hand and a black .45 caliber Desert Eagle in the other,” Van Meter told a reporter from Police One shortly after the incident. Van Meter remembers the man leveling one of the pistols directly at him before two officers from neighboring Cornelius opened fire and killed the gunman.

Van Meter’s brush with death gave way to a moment of clarity in which he decided to pursue his life-long dream and follow in the footsteps of his country music hero, Garth Brooks.

Van Meter can remember the moment he knew he wanted to be a singer.

“My brother was giving me a ride to school – I think I was a freshman or sophomore – and he put in this CD and told me that I had to hear this song,” Van Meter said. “It was ‘Friends in Low Places’ by Garth Brooks. I was instantly hooked. I was like, I don’t know what this is, but whatever it is, I want to be a part of it.”

But life seemed to take him in every direction but the music. Van Meter played football and became a bull rider at Oregon State University before entering the police force. There, he would sing in the office – but his coworkers didn’t seem to share in the joy.

“My first gig was marine patrol and they give you a partner. He told me one day, ‘Kurt have I ever told you how much I love your singing?’ I said no and he goes, ‘then shut up.’” Van Meter figured maybe he wasn’t that good of a singer, after all. The first person who told him he had a good voice was an ex-girlfriend. But music seemed to be an out-of-reach dream.

The shooting changed all of that and about a year later Van Meter decided to chase his dream. He hoped on Youtube and started to learn how to play the guitar. He also began attending local jam sessions in Hillsboro. The next challenge was finding a way to get his music heard. Van Meter was put in contact with Scott Mahalick and told him, “If you believe in me, I can be the next Garth Brooks.” Van Meter had no songs, no band, and nothing to offer but his voice. Despite that, Garth Brooks and Scott attempted to contact Van Meter. A missed phone call that he still cringes about.

Van Meter’s career took off relatively quickly and he opened for country stars like Montgomery Gentry. In 2013, he committed to music full-time and played the Bi-Mart Country Music Festival in 2014, alongside artists Eric Church and Blake Shelton. When he started, Van Meter said his songs had a couple hundred streams and downloads per month. By 2015, those numbers were up to more than 100,000.

As Van Meter has seen his popularity rise, he’s quick to point to his bandmates as reasons for his success. “When you have a team as strong as this one, it’s in your best interest to get the hell out of the way,” he said. “My role is to not forget the lyrics and not suck.”

Van Meter hopes his kids and others can see his journey and decide to follow their passion and to not be afraid of failure. “Two things are important, one is don’t wait until you’re ready to do something. If you want to do it, just go for it. I didn’t know what I was doing. Sometimes, you just gotta go for it. The second thing is you’re never too old. I was 33 when I learned how to play the guitar.”

Van Meter will be performing tomorrow night at Sounds of Summer kicking off the summer series. Come join us, and enjoy good music, food, and drinks. Vendors will start serving at 6 pm and the fun will begin at 6:30 pm. His CDs will be on sale both at the info booth, as well as after the concert at the Chamber of Commerce.

“Kurt, you are obviously doing something right. Stay with what works.” – Garth Brooks

Wake Up Wednesday

For the last month now Dallas Chamber of Commerce has been participating in Wake Up Wednesday alongside your business neighbors. During this time we are able to connect with local business, share both struggles, and solutions, and grow as a community.

The Wake Up Wednesday today was hosted by Citizens Bank, and Jake shared with us what is new with Citizens Bank. Recently they celebrated their 60th anniversary of the first Citizens Bank opening in Corvallis. There was even a photo available for their grand opening! Jake discussed how Citizens Bank focuses on their customers and not with meeting a sales quota like bigger banks do. If they do not have the best option for you they will send you to someone who does. In this day and age, such banking transparency is appreciated!

West Valley Taphouse kicked off their Discover Dallas Wine Walkabout Series this last Sunday with over 50 participants. The goal is to partner with local business in order to drive tourism in the area. If you attended Sam would love to hear any feedback you might have. If you are interested in participating in the next Wine Walkabout on June 24th you can find out more information or purchase a ticket on their website discoverdallas.wine.

Washington Street Steakhouse and Pub is preparing for Fathers Day! For breakfast dad can look forward to big daddy chicken fried steak and eggs, porterhouse peppered pork chops and eggs, or slow smoked prime rib and eggs. If dad is a late riser then bring him in to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner of big daddy chick fried steak with mashed potatoes, porterhouse peppered pork chops with baked potato, or a slow smoked prime rib with baked potato.

Tuesday on the Square is getting ready to kick off on June 12th. The City of Dallas departments and community partners such as Pacific Power, West Valley Hospital, and many more will be on the courthouse lawn from 4 pm to 7 pm. They will be highlighting their services with plenty of fun for the whole family; good food, bouncy houses, and lots of giveaways.

MV Advancements is growing! While we love to see Dallas businesses grow it’s left them in a tight spot. They are in need of volunteers for two positions. They are looking for business that are in need of help to place their clients, as well as Assessment setters. If you would like to help with either of these positions please contact them for more information.

Last but certainly not least, Turf ground breaking. We pulled together as a community to make it happen and it all kicks off Monday at 4 pm. Ground breaking will take place at Ron August Field and everyone is invited!

If you would like to meet with your fellow business members, and hear firsthand what is going on in our community then contact the Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to seeing you there, and to our community growing!

Polk County Fairgrounds

This week we are excited to spotlight a family fun event at the Polk County Fairgrounds starting today! The Oregon Old Time Fiddlers State Convention is here to entertain and educate the whole family! This event starts today, April 4th, and lasts until April 7th for a four-day event!

The Oldtime Fiddlers’ Associate in a nonprofit organization dedicated to the continuation and promotion of old-time music. The Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers’ Association is over fifty years old and has musical roots from many places; including the Appalachia Mountains, Louisiana bayous, Minnesota, even as far as Scotland, Ireland, and England. Each April the Oldtime Fiddlers’ Association holds a convention at Polk County Fairgrounds to share their love and knowledge of music with the public.

Founded in 1913 Polk County Fairgrounds has been dedicated to the idea of providing the general public and community with the space, buildings, and equipment needed to engage in events for over a century. The Polk County Fairgrounds hosts events year-round designed to promote fun, learning and social activity for everyone- especially where children can benefit. The Polk County Fairgrounds have not limited themselves to just events either. They provide space for multiple group meetings; from dog training to CourtCare and Workshops. Year after year the hard workers at the Polk County Fairgrounds work to improve their events and facilities, all while delivering a great time to our families in the community.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to support our local fairgrounds and learn about Oregon music, and bring the whole family!