PITTSBURG — Coffee permeated the air as people laughed and talked during the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Coffee on Thursday at the Frisco Event Center.

The event started with the “Pledge of Allegiance” and then Pittsburg High School Encore and the Multi-Generational Chorus, directed by Susan Laushman sang the “National Anthem.”

The chorus then gave a sneak peak of its production of “U.S. Travel Log,” where people can travel state through state as the chorus sings about 60 seconds of a song from each state. The chorus will present “U.S. Travel Log” at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24. At Memorial Auditorium, written and arranged by Laushman. Tickets are free and can be picked up at the Auditorium.

Chamber Coffee co-host Joe Hart, said he couldn’t have selected a better chorus to bring entertainment that day.

Pittsburg High School Principal Phil Bressler agreed and said, “I’ve never heard the ‘National Anthem’ quite like this.”  

Bressler then introduced PHS student Andrew Riachi who was named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist after taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, PSAT/NMSQT.

Following the high school presentations, co-hosts Larry and Sooki Fields, owners of Frisco Event Center, gave an introduction. They thanked people for coming to the event and shared about the mannequin with the KC Southern Uniform on, which people may have seen at the event center.  

Larry Fields said he is thankful for all of his business neighbors surrounding him, all of which serve an integral role in the community, he said.

Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Blake Benson brought Suzie Boldrini of Broadway Lumber, in front of the crowd to recognize Broadway Lumber for being a member of the Chamber of Commerce for over 50 years.

Broadway Lumber has been in Pittsburg for over 68 years and has helped build many structures over the years, Boldrini said, adding it has been fun to see them appear.

Next, Physi-kuhl Therapy Owner Alex Kuhlman was introduced as a new business in town. Kuhlman is a Pittsburg State University alumni who came back to Pittsburg with his family to start the business.

New PSU Basketball Coach Amanda Davied was introduced and so was the new PSU Basketball Coach Bob Fornelli.

After the new coaches were introduced, Harvey Dean and Joe Hart recognized PSU Track and Field Coach Russ Jewett for his team’s winning achievements over the years, including the Pitt State Men’s Division accomplishment of National Champion of indoor track and field.

Following the recognition, USD 250 Board of Education Member Marlene Willis introduced Assistant Superintendent and Pittsburg native Brad Hanson. The new USD 250 Superintendent of Schools Rich Proffitt was also recognized, he was on duty as superintendent at the district and so he was not in attendance.

Pittsburg State University had another newcomer on their team, Director of Admissions Scott Donaldson. He said he is excited to be part of PSU.

The Pittsburg Family YMCA also has many new faces, including Director Mike Moore. Moore was introduced to the chamber coffee audience.

Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas President Kevin Mitchelson was also brought up to the stage, not as a new member however, but to share the success the foundation has over the past many years. He said it would not have been possible if it were not for the community and businesses which have helped organizations across southeast Kansas. Mitchelson announced the foundation has reached $42 million in assets.

Hart’s employees, Ethan Cordray and Brittany Lindsay, from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance were also introduced.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun