Chamber Ambassadors

The Chamber Ambassadors are a group of volunteers to the Chamber of Commerce who visit businesses in Lancaster and assist the Chamber with any other needs.  To join the Ambassadors, or for more information, contact Pat Kwallek at 723-4796, Jerry Patterson at 723-7476, or the Chamber office at 723-2820.

2011 Chamber Ambassadors

Carson Alcorn

Dick Duncan

Mary Duncan

Darryl Haskins

Marly Haskins

Ivars Kalnins

Al Kwallek

Pat Kwallek

Jerry Patterson

Paul Thuli


March Ambassador Goodwill CoffeeLancaster Fitness

By Pat Kwallek

If you ever wonder what exactly is going on in your kids’ school classes, let me tell you.  I was fortunate to be asked to help judge eighth grade history projects and I came away impressed with many things, including their knowledge of the subjects, their artistic creativity, and, maybe most of all, their courtesy toward a couple of “grannies”.  Dorothy Chadd, a veteran teacher now retired, and I had three different projects to judge, and believe me, it was not easy.

The students were so eager to talk about their projects and were so down-right knowledgeable, while seeming to really enjoy our interest, that it was a pleasure to talk with them.  The three projects we were assigned were all so well done, we wished we could have awarded them all “firsts”, but since it wasn’t to be that simple, we finally narrowed it down to the project about the Boston Tea Party.

Besides the great use of materials in their display, I think the coup de gras for me was the scattering of real tea leaves over some of their project.  Its fragrance boosted the impact of the whole idea.  We felt good to hear later that our choice was also one of the few chosen to advance to a competition in LaCrosse.  Their teacher, Mr. Haas, should be commended and I know is, himself, impressed with what these young people can do.

Your Chamber Ambassadors took their good-will coffee to a young business manager who is also impressive for what he has accomplished.  Bob Vale manages Lancaster Fitness, located in the former quarters of the Social Security offices on Alona Lane.  The business opened Jan. 4, 2010 and is owned by Brent and Mary Sheckler, who have another fitness place in Prairie du Chien and one in Fennimore.  They also own Papa Murphy’s in Platteville.

Bob is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.  Fitness members also have 24-hour access, made possible by a key fob.  As Bob noted, “Members can come in at 2 a.m., if they want to work out, or anytime they can fit it in.”

When an individual joins, he or she gets personal training to ensure their safety, and when Bob is on hand, he gets plenty of questions to answer.  He also offers aerobic classes and does personal training.  And those who come to the gym during the “off” hours are monitored by camera, so if anything goes wrong, it is recorded.

Lancaster Fitness members can use all types of equipment, including bikes, treadmills, free weights in the weight room; they may run, use the rotary torso machine to work abdominals, and even purchase supplements right there in the store that includes just about anything the health-minded could want.  All cardiac workout machines have heart monitors right on them.

There are certain age limits.  Those from 12 to 16 must be accompanied by a parent.  Bob laughed, “If they are 16 and can drive here, they can work out.” There is water available and energy and protein drinks on hand.

Bob lists between 320 and 250 active members but added he has over 500 listed on his computer, including those who only came in a time or two.  He said there are also day passes for a small fee.  Some members come in twice a day, with the busiest times from 3:30 to 6 a.m., and the least popular time from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

No matter what your interests or needs or available time, Lancaster Fitness can work you in.


In the photo you will notice Bob Vale and receptionist-assistant Tess Day are decked out for St. Patrick’s Day, when we visited them.  I told them I, too, had a button: “Kiss me, I’m Irish,” but was afraid to wear it because we have a member or two who would probably obey!  At this, Angie Day, our Chamber exec, showed her “Kiss me” button, exclaiming, “I was hoping they would!”

Angie got in the photo this month because her young son was on spring break and took the picture.