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Blanda plans to increase Groves Chamber’s community involvement

By Darragh Doiron

The News staff writer

GROVES — Kenny Blanda is wise enough to listen to his elders. The executive director of Magnolia Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center says residents there have lived and learned.

“The wisdom is just incredible for the Greatest Generation of folks that went through the Depression. Every day I learn something new. It’s something different every day. You have to realize their contributions. That’s what we try to do here, is to honor what they are,” Blanda said.

Blanda may call upon this learned wisdom as he takes the helm as the 2010 Groves Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Tuesday at the Courtyard Cafe, 4321 Lincoln Ave. Blanda will replace Brad Corley as president.

“We have quite a few goals for increasing membership. We’re increasing involvement of the directors in community events,” Blanda said. “We want to continue to foster a relationship with the surrounding chambers and also maintain a good, solid relationship with city management.”

Blanda said he has been working with D.E. Sosa, Groves city manager, about ways to draw new business to the city.

“D’s already been doing a fantastic job,” he said.

Blanda has worked with long-term care and elders for 20 years. He calls it a “wonderful job.”

“It’s just a privilege to be able to work with the elderly,” he said. “Just to see and older person who can’t remember what they did an hour earlier and know that they were a war hero, or Rosie the Riveter or a housewife who raised her kids.”

Debbie Snell said the chamber has “great expectations,” with a slate full of activities, beginning with a March Easter Egg hunt.

“We hope to accomplish a lot of things to enhance the chamber with our board,” Snell said. We’re looking forward to having a really good year with Kenny as our new president. We’re expecting a good year and I think Kenny has got some ideas.”

ddoiron@panews.com