Published: July 6, 2020

KANDI JOHNSON — Hayden Chamber: Bring on summer!

Kandi Johnson

Kandi Johnson

Summer is the season that most of us who call North Idaho home plan for, wait for, dream for, and talk about long after it’s past. After all, when winter seems like it has lasted for 6 months (though it’s really about three months), the lazy days of summer are the stuff that dreams are made of.

As a child, I was privileged to take my first swimming lessons in Lake Coeur d’Alene. That may sound like a good thing, but the water in the month of June can be chilly, particularly in the morning, which is when my lessons were. I later realized that the legacy of taking my swimming lessons in the frigid waters was a “rite of passage” for me, and I have considered it a blessing of a childhood that was spent in the BEST place on Earth!

Many of you also have fond summer memories — and often enjoy bringing them to life each year — with friends, family, children, grandchildren and those new to our area. Whether your summer includes water sports, golf courses, camping, fishing, hiking, racket sports, or just sitting in the back yard on a lazy warm evening — we encourage you to continue to make memories this summer!

Hayden Chamber of Commerce has been busy during these past months sharing important information with our members, collaborating with other business leaders in our community to assure that our businesses will continue to thrive and move forward — even during these challenging times. And as many of you feel the fleeting days of summer upon us — we do also. These are a few upcoming highlights for the Hayden Chamber that we hope you will include to your calendar.

Our Hayden Chamber Ambassadors will be busy in the month of July as we catch up on welcoming our new members from these past few months by attending Ribbon Cutting events at their places of business. This lively group meets on the first Wednesday morning each month to share best practices and then heads out to the community to welcome members as well as visit current members. If you would like further information, please contact the chamber office at 208-762-1185.

July 8 will be our Chamber After Hours held at North Idaho Fairgrounds, beginning at 5 p.m. and running through 7:30 p.m. Our host, Alexcia Jordan, general manager with the North Idaho Fairgrounds, is very excited to share both the history of her location, and demonstrate that the facility can host many events. We are especially appreciative that Alexcia and her team welcomed our area graduating seniors this past month so that they could commemorate their special day. Well done!

July 23 is our monthly Networking Breakfast held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. Trade tables open at 7 a.m. with breakfast served at 7:20. Our guest speaker will be Kyle Rutley with Wake Media. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Kyle and his team these past few months, as they helped our chamber navigate the uncharted waters of “live” virtual breakfast meetings and sharing vital meetings with Mayor Steve Griffitts.

Our Annual Banquet and Culinary Competition is on Saturday, July 25, held at the North Idaho Fairgrounds. This year’s theme is “A Night Under the Big Top.” Tickets are still available at $50 each and the event is open to both members and potential members. The fun starts at 5 p.m. with silent auction and networking time — followed by the Culinary Competition awards presentation of both Judges Choice Award (thank you to the Spokane Culinary Arts Guild for judging our event each year) and People’s Choice Award. This will be followed by a lively “live” auction.

This year’s Platinum Sponsors are Idaho Central Credit Union, Mountain West Bank, Numerica Credit Union and TDS. We also thank our Gold Level Sponsors: Advanced Benefits, bankcda, Kootenai Health, P1FCU and Washington Trust Bank. Our appetizer sponsor is Uncle Dan’s Salad Dressings, Dips and Seasonings and our dessert sponsor is Avista. Tickets can be purchased by phoning 208-762-1185 or on our website at

However you spend your July — make sure to make the most of it!

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Kandi Johnson is Executive Director of the Hayden Chamber of Commerce.