Dorothy Ricketts

Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce

When Dorothy assumed her role as Chamber of Commerce President in 1995-1996, her goal and the other directors goals where to get people in Monmouth to boost the economy in Monmouth. One of the ideas they came up with was weekend activities to get more people into the community on the weekends. One of the bigger community weekend activities they came up with was Maple City Madness Day. The Maple City Madness Day Started Friday night and went to Sunday morning. Some of the activities included a 5k run, a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and a farmers market. Maple City Madness shut down the downtown area to cars and allowed people to roam around in the streets. This drew people into the retail businesses, helped boost the economy in Monmouth, and made the town come alive. Dorothy said, "It was so difficult to put together", but with all the time and effort her and the other Chamber of Commerce members put into it she was proud of the outcome. It was always worth it to see the Monmouth community come alive. Today, the Monmouth area Chamber of Commerce has activities like the Prime Beef Fest, Maple City Pottery Collectors, and a few other private chamber clubs. When interviewing Dorothy and asking her what she would like to see in Monmouth she said, "I would like to see all the apartments over the downtown area businesses fixed up to draw younger people to the area. If we can draw younger people to the area we could draw more businesses to the area." She went on to say, "I hate to see the poor economy (meaning empty retail stores) in Monmouth spill over into the next city. When I went to School in Monmouth, Galesburg was a bustling mall, and today its empty." Dorothy, however, believes that Monmouth has done a great job integrating businesses that allow other nationalities feel at home in the community.

The Monmouth community's Chamber of Commerce began in 1912. This not-for-profit organization promotes businesses as well as the Monmouth community. Participation and support of local businesses keep the Chamber of Commerce successful, which leads to the advancement of the community's interests. The Chamber is not only an information center of the community, but it also works toward encouraging economic growth, tourism, and legislative involvement. The Chamber's mission statement states "our mission is to provide value to our members through advocacy, leadership, and service by providing a vigorous economic climate for the business community."

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