Looking back on 2017 showed much progress for the City of Melissa. Executive Director of the Melissa Chamber of Commerce Bill Jones said 2017 was an amazing year for the city. “The Melissa Area Chamber of Commerce had a great 2017,” Jones said. “It was overall the best year in its history.”

Jones said the chamber began 2017 with a bang. “The Melissa Area Chamber began its year in April with a record setting ‘Bridging Business & Community’ annual Banquet,” Jones said. “George James was named ‘Citizen of the Year’ and CVS was named ‘Business of the Year.’ The record crowd enjoyed a fabulous Prime Rib dinner at Hurricane Creek Country Club.”

The monthly and quarterly luncheons throughout the year were well received, providing networking opportunities for the chamber members, Jones said. “These luncheons provided opportunities to promote their business to others, and hear pertinent information from our speakers about things that could affect their businesses in the present and future.

“The Melissa Area Chamber’s biggest event of the year was held in June,” Jones said. “Celebration of Freedom attracted the largest crowd ever. The record crowd enjoyed the numerous vendors and the fabulous fireworks, while we all celebrated the freedoms that we have in the wonderful country.”

Jones said that between the chamber and the Melissa Public Library, many Newcomers Welcome Bags were distributed. “These welcome bags contain material and promotions from our Members, and help acquaint newcomers to the Melissa Area,” he said

The chamber also made improvements to their website. “The Melissa Area Chamber of Commerce produced a ‘Community Guide & Business Directory’ that also contained the only printed map of the City of Melissa,” Jones said. “This guide contains valuable information about the area for residents and newcomers.”

The first Saturday in December, the Melissa Area Chamber produced a fantastic Christmas Parade that was possibly the best in the history of Melissa, Jones said.

“The Chamber also grew their membership in record numbers during 2017,” Jones said. “The Melissa Area Chamber of Commerce had a very good 2017 helping Melissa grow, and helping our members grow their business through promotions and networking opportunities of the Chamber.”

Jones said the chamber is looking forward to what 2018 has in store. “We are very optimistic about the opportunities of growth in Melissa and creating a bigger and more effective Melissa Area Chamber of Commerce in 2018.”

The Melissa Independent School District ranked #37 in the top 40 school districts in the entire state of Texas by scooldigger.com.

The year 2017 proved to be successful for Melissa ISD sports. The Varsity Cardinal football team won the district 5-4A, bi-district, area and the regional semifinals; making it all the way into the regional finals at 12-1.

The Lady Cardinal volleyball team took the bi-district championship. The boys’ track and field team took 5th at state in early 2017.

In May, the school district broke ground on a new high school facility. In June, Melissa Ridge Intermediate obtained Michele Austin as the new principal.

The Mighty Cardinal Band partnered with Physical Therapy of Melissa for injury prevention.

The beginning of the 2017/2018 school year saw over 40 new teachers brought into the fold. In September, the school district hosted the first annual homecoming celebration. The company Unleash Spirit Wear donated $79,000 worth of equipment to Melissa High School.

In October, Melissa students raised over $750 to donate to hurricane relief effort, and children’s author Patricia Polacco visited Melissa Elementary School students.

Multiple high school students signed intent to play for colleges. Among the many student athlete signing day stories, Amanda Kocsis signed her letter of intent to play soccer at Loyola Marymount University; Gunnar Murphy signed his letter of intent to play football at Southwest Baptist University; Alfonso Viramontes signed his letter of intent to play football at Texas A&M Commerce; Priscilla Adejokun signed her letter of intent to Rice University; Karrington Lewis signed her letter of intent to Abilene Christian University; Elijah Mackey signed his letter of intent to Rogers State University; Bryanna Hernandez signed to run track at Southern Methodist University; Tarek signed to play football at Howard Payne University; track and cross-country runner Ty Graham signed a letter of intent to Rogers State University; volleyball player Brittany Melcher signed to Arkansas Tech University; basketball player Taylor Thomas signed to Texas Woman’s University.

Jones said Melissa also welcomed a few businesses to the city. “The chamber welcomed Melissa Eye Associates, Melissa Nails Spa, Brady Paxman State Farm Insurance, JD’s Smoke House & Grill, Altura Homes, Griset Insurance Agency and Franchiseur Certified Greif Recovery,” he said.

All in all, it was a year of tremendous growth and accomplishments that Melissa plans to carry into the new year.