The St. John Chamber of Commerce and Tri-Town Rotary hosted their 14th Annual Corn Roast on Friday. Local businesses, officials, and locals came together to serve tons of corn and entertain St. John residents who braved the heat on a night where all proceeds went back to the community.
The long running event featured diverse vendors, performances by the Hanover Central Band, other talented young musicians, and a demonstration by St. John Police Department’s K9 unit. Hundreds of people enjoyed the evening, and as part of a partnership between the Chamber and Tri-Town Rotary, all proceeds were put back into the community. For their part, the St. John Chamber invests their earnings into scholarships for local students.
“In the town of St. John this is our big event,” said Gina Fezler, Vice-President of the Board of Directors for the Chamber. “This has been a staple in the community for the last 14 years. It not only provides scholarships, but also gives residents an opportunity to interact with their local businesses, leaders, and town.”
Each year, the St. John Chamber awards four $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors who live in St. John and exhibit strong academic behavior.
“The inception of the Corn Roast was to create a consistent fundraiser that was very community focused,” said Fezler. “It’s very much an event that funds academics, and I know the Rotarian group, while I’m not a Rotarian, does go into programs for scholarships in the Tri-Town area.”
There was not only corn at this local event, but also local vendors who displayed a diverse array of stands for visitors. Hand-crafted jewelry, bean-bag games, martial arts training for children, and a huge bounce house all drew in crowds. Other vendors included local legal services, clubs, and insurance providers like State Farm’s Ryan Spangler, who is also the St. John Chamber President.
“I think it’s good to get everybody out,” said Spangler. “One, it helps promote our businesses, and two, it’s a great community event to bring out families to have good, wholesome fun. I think we’re a really close knit community where everyone knows and cares about each other. This isn’t something put on by one person, it’s something that brings everyone together.”
As a long standing tradition, the event is always improving and developing a reputation for its great displays like the local police showcasing how their police dogs operate. Word of mouth and strong advertising mean that their audience is always expanding.
“It’s our first time coming out to the corn roast,” said Lenna Mota-Huertas, a St. John local who came with her 4-year-old twins. “This is nice, it’s good for the businesses and it’s good for the people of St. John. And we knew we couldn’t miss the bounce house.”
To learn more about the St. John Chamber of Commerce, visit www.stjohnchamber.com.