Fruit Crops Looking Good
Business After Hours Is Final Event for Retiring Centralia Chamber Executive Director
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Tom Schwartz of Schwartz Orchard examines the small apples now beginning to form on the fruit trees.
Photo by Bruce Kropp

The owner of the Schwartz Orchard in Centralia says the fruit crops are shaping up nicely this year.

Tom Schwartz says the warmer winter weather means there will be earlier crops this year.

"Strawberries look good. We're really going to pick quite a few this week because it has warmed up. They really need the heat. I don't know if they need 85, but that's what we got today (Tuesday). We've had plenty of rain, but it is supposed to calm down the rest of this month," said Schwartz. "Apples look good, they are about the size of your thumb. They've really thinned down pretty well. Peaches we still have a good crop. We haven't thinned any yet, I'm waiting to see how many may not have made it."

Schwartz comments came at a Centralia Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Tuesday night. It was the last event for Bob Kelscheimer, who is retiring as Chamber of Commerce Executive Director after 12 years on the job.

"It's been great working with a great group of people. I've been fortunate to have great boards and just some really pronominal chamber members who are there to help and step in whenever needed," said Kelscheimer. "The Balloon Fest steering committee, in fact, all committees, I work with are so dedicated and committed. The volunteer base we have in Centralia is truly second to none. You know, I've really enjoyed it."

Kelscheimer says he plans to spend more time with his grandkids and do what he wants to do. He will work part time as a senior consultant for AGE, a Mt. Vernon-based company that has worked with area chambers of commerce in putting together buying groups for lower cost electricity and natural gas.

Kelscheimer says the chamber board is still working on naming a new Executive Director.

Retiring Centralia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Kelscheimer says his goodbyes during Tuesday's Business After Hours at Schwartz Farms.
Photo by Bruce Kropp

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