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Chamber seeks board nominations, award nominees

There are two months left in 2009, and we need to start thinking about year-end awards and activities.

Every year, the Chamber of Commerce selects the Volunteer and Citizen of the Year from a number of nominees. Candidates come in through nomination forms that will be available in the December Chamber newsletter and at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

As we start closing out the year, look around — look at the various individuals and organizations that make this community tick. There are many reasons for people to be nominated, and just being nominated is an honor. There are many organizations or groups that have made a difference in the life of this community. There are many individuals who have changed the way we do business or live in Pagosa. Look around you at the people at your next meeting or coffee gathering. Surely someone deserves an additional pat on the back.

Criteria will be coming out soon, but it is fairly simple: the organization or individual must have made an impact on the community in some way, whether economic, philanthropic, cultural, lifestyle or a combination. There are different residency criteria for Volunteer and Citizen of the Year.

We plant the seed now, so you have time to look at the organizations and individuals around you during the next couple of months and to plan your nomination. The awards will be issued at the annual Chamber meeting on Saturday, July 23. We hope to receive many nominations again this year.

Board nominations

At this time of year, the Chamber of Commerce is also seeking candidates who might be interested in serving on the Chamber Board of directors.

Board terms are three years. Six nominees are placed before the Chamber membership in December with voting concluding at the annual meeting Jan. 23, and announcements made a few days later. Three new board members will be chosen from the six nominees.

The Chamber board looks for a variety of businesses to be represented, as well as individual members. We look for nominees to bring their talents to the board, talents such as financial, organizational, planning or business expertise. There is typically one board meeting per month, except when subcommittee meetings are called, or if we are sponsoring an event.

If you are interested in running for the board of directors, contact me. Submit your request, state why you believe you would be a valid candidate and discuss the talents you believe you can offer to the board. The nomination process will conclude Nov. 9.

Our community is blessed with individuals who donate a great amount of time and effort to various non-profit organizations. They are not on the boards for the glory — these people work! The Chamber board members are no exception. If you have any questions about submitting your name, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Halloween activities

Since Halloween officially falls on a Saturday this year, there will be a plethora of activities all around town for adults and youth. Many of our business establishments will host costume contests, live music and parties. It will certainly be an evening to celebrate — and we hope everyone has fun, and parties responsibly.

For the children, several events will be in full swing. On Thursday and Friday, Oct. 29 and 30, the Haunted Barn continues at the Moomaw Ranch at Echo Canyon Ranch from 6-8 p.m. There is also a Pumpkin Patch for the little ones. Admission is $10 for those 18 years and older, $5 for children 10-17 years old, and $1 for those children under 10 just attending the Pumpkin Patch. All children three and younger are free. Proceeds from this event assist three different organizations: the Gifted and Talented students in Pagosa, Habitat for Humanity and Seeds of Learning. There have been great reviews from last week about the scary but fun venue, so this is a Haunted Barn not to miss! For more information, call Cindi Galabota at 264-6960.

On Halloween, Oct. 31, the community center hosts its annual free ghoulish celebration. The community center transforms into a house filled with activities, games and mazes, and lots of candy is distributed! The event begins at 3 p.m. and continues until 5. All are welcome to this festive event and costumes for young and old are encouraged. For more information, or if you would like to donate some candy, please call Cristin at the community center, at 264-4152.

New Chamber tools

In the past several weeks, the Chamber has added two new programs to our amenities. Go to the Chamber Web site, www.pagosaspringschamber.com and view the Tools for Business Success page. This great site has lots of answers to business questions you might have, such as starting a business, tax questions, licensing questions, cash flow worksheets, and an extensive library of business resources. There are also Webinars or online services you can join in on to further your business savvy.

The Chamber also now has discount prescription cards available for free to anyone who is interested. You can go online now and print out your copy or wait until the next SunDowner or Chamber event, or the December newsletter, to receive yours. The Pagosa Springs Chamber Prescription Card will offer your access to the lowest rate on prescriptions. It is a wonderful benefit for those individuals that do not have insurance or have a health savings plan where prescriptions are not covered. You do not have to be a Chamber member —?anyone may obtain a discount prescription card. For more information, go to the Chamber Web site at www.pagosaspringschamber.com or call us at 264-2360. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

Membership news

It has been quite the busy week for renewals and we have some new members at the Chamber.

We start off with our new members: The Body Shop Total Fitness at 228 Village Dr. Cindy Houston and Justin Stone offer a variety of fitness regimens including Pilates, geriatrics, core conditioning, free weights, sports conditioning, personal training and weight loss. The Body Shop is located behind the uptown City Market and is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Call 731-44245 to schedule and appointment or find out more about their services.

Also new this week with their second business is Floyd and Stella’s Vacation Rental House. This totally renovated two-bedroom, two- bath home is just steps away from historic downtown Pagosa and has spectacular views. The house can sleep up to six people and is convenient to shopping, dining and numerous businesses. Call Jeff or Donna Bouwer at 264-7852.

After a brief hiatus, we also welcome back the Art & Framing Center of Pagosa, with Susanne Russell. The Art & Framing Center is located at 56 Talisman Drive. Not only does Susanne perform great framing services, but she also has a collection of art including Claire Goldrick, Wayne Justus and the now hard-to-find Milt Lewis. Call 731-4484 or stop in for Susanne to look at your framing needs. Welcome to all of our new members.

Our renewals this week include Citizens Bank both downtown and uptown; the River Pointe Café; Touchstone Gift Shop; Moore Chiropractic Wellness Centre; Black Bear Custom Homes with Rich and Susan Hampton; Spectrum Construction with Steve Schwartz; Team Pagosa with Laura Daniels and Chris Hachenberg; and the Aspen Springs Metro District, maintaining over 67 miles of roads for Aspen Springs. From out of the area we welcome back longtime members the Hingers and the Bruce Spruce Ranch. Our non-profit agencies include the Ross Aragon Community Center with a great mix of event space and the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center. Our Friends of the Chamber renewing this week are Visitor Center volunteers Don and Nancy Strait and Barbara Mason, and part-time residents Mike and Karen Kelley.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars in November and December for the change in SunDowners. These “Business After Hours” events change during these months so as not to conflict with the holidays. The SunDowner at Slices of Nature will be held Nov. 18 and the SunDowner at the Overlook will be held Dec. 16.

Also, congratulations to two of our businesses for being mentioned in Sunset Magazine’s Mountain Editor Picks in the November issue, now out on stands. The Overlook Mineral Springs Spa and Pagosa Brewing Co. were both mentioned as great après ski activities to enjoy in Pagosa Springs.