David Wigdahl named winner of Chamber’s Jackpine Bob Cary Community Spirit Award

WINNER of the Ely Chamber of Commerce’s Jackpine Bob Cary Community Spirit Award was David Wigdahl. He received the award at the annual Smile, You’re In Ely dinner Tuesday at Grand Ely Lodge. Photos by Nick Wognum

Positivity at Smile, You’re in Ely

Several decades ago Angela Cook was the Kawishiwi District Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service in Ely. She proposed an idea that is still in place today: to have a positive event that would help the tourism industry.
Smile, You’re in Ely came from her idea and is still held each year by the Ely Chamber of Commerce. The original idea was to help educate business owners and front line personnel about all that Ely has to offer.
At this year’s event there were awards given to three Ely businesses for all they do to make this community a better place. Zup’s and Northland Market took home the Good Neighbor Business Awards, a fitting tribute.
Every time you turn around those two stores are giving back to the community. That alone is one of the best reasons to shop locally. When we had not one, but two dollar stores move to Ely, we knew our grocery stores would take a direct hit. But people have learned those stores don’t really care about Ely and they don’t support the community.
David Wigdahl won the Jackpine Bob Cary Community Spirit Award. Earlier in the meeting there had been discussion on losing Goodwill and losing Shopko, our largest retailer. Wigdahl sees the glass more than half full and pointed to the expansion at Ely Community Pharmacy, a major project in the works for the hospital, a school renovation project and better internet as reasons people should want to move to Ely. Community spirit? Wigdahl has it in spades.
The night wrapped up with motivational speaker Lynne Jensen-Nelson who gave a great talk on how to be better business owners by always being positive and how important it is to keep moving forward.
Cook would’ve loved her speech and the award presentations Tuesday night.
There were plenty of smiles to go around.