Annual Banquet, Membership Drive Highlighted By Wayne Area Economic Development

WAYNE – Tickets will be going on sale for the annual banquet in the month of February as the event has been postponed until late May.

Normally the Wayne Area Economic Development (WAED) Annual Banquet is held on the final Sunday in January. Earlier this month, the event was postponed until Sunday, May 23 at the Beaumont Concert and Event Hall. The postponement was determined to protect the health and safety of guests, businesses, volunteers and the Wayne community.

Luke Virgil, Executive Director with Wayne Area Economic Development, talked about the event might be moved outside at the Beaumont.

“We’ll play it by ear and we’ll work with it however it needs to be,” said Virgil. “Hopefully people will feel relaxed about everything regarding COVID that we can get together and have a nice event. We’ll still probably see some masks in the place anyway.”

This year’s theme is ‘Community & Unity’.

Tickets for the annual banquet will go on sale on Monday, February 1.

“You can just call the chamber office and reserve your table of eight including eight drink tickets for $275,” Virgil added. “Or you can do individual tickets for $30 per person and there’s no drink ticket included with that.”

The silent auction along with the dessert auction will take place on Sunday, May 23 as well as recipients for Business of the Year, Most Valuable Patron, Educator of the Year and Citizen of the Year will also be recognized.

It’s also time for the WAED Membership Drive. The membership cycle runs from January 1 – December 31 and there are several different tiers of membership levels.

“A Bronze membership is $400 per year, then the Silver membership is $750, Gold membership would be $1,500,” Virgil mentioned. “A Platinum membership is $3,000 and larger and Diamond is $5,000 and larger.”

Some benefits of being a WAED member is being able to participate in the Chamber Bucks program, take part in a membership spotlight video, marketing campaigns and more.

A large portion of funds collected from the membership drive goes toward operating the chamber office. Contributions come from the City of Wayne and Wayne County along with revenue from the membership drive and programming.

Contact the WAED office at 402-375-2240 or like Wayne, NE on Facebook for more information.

Complete Interview with Virgil (aired on radio 1/27/21):