I spent a couple hours this afternoon going through file folders on the Seward Chamber of Commerce “First Impressions Committee”. The committee was established in the late ‘90’s to help improve the first impression visitors and local citizens have of our City. Committee membership is made up the Chamber Director, City representation, and interested citizens. The committee has provided leadership over the years for an annual “Seward Cleanup Day”, Hazardous waste disposal days, establishment of a Heritage Park with a picnic shelter and landscaping, encouraged the enactment of city ordinances to improve the City’s appearance, planted a Walnut and Pecan Grove in the floodplain adjacent to the City walker/biker trail, encouraged improvement of the 2nd story appearance in downtown business buildings, recognized businesses for their improvements, etc. There are other project in the development stage. As a member of the City Council at the time the committee was established, I became a member and have continued to serve. Going through the files this afternoon was most interesting. It was a reminder of what people can accomplish when they are willing to work together to achieve a goal beyond their self interest. Some goals are achieved rather quickly when someone takes leadership, and others, like getting a “Welcome to Seward” sign, take longer. The files also reminded me of the virtues of serving on such a committee and how friendships are strengthened by getting to know each other through intelligent debate. Pictured are: Jeanne, Lisa, Pat and Lecia seated, and Tony, Clarence, Gary, Scott and Roger. Mel evidently missed the day the picture was taken but continues to be a major contributor in the committee’s work. Every town and city could profit by having such a committee.