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Restore, renew, respect: Volunteer and recycle

On April 16, from noon to 6 p.m., the Chamber of Commerce is spearheading a Volunteer Recruitment Day in conjunction with the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) and the Earth Day Celebrations to be held in Town Park.

Restore, Renew, and Respect is the theme this year since so many of Pagosa’s volunteers give their time to several organizations or cycle through a number of organizations.

If you have been thinking of volunteering for one of Pagosa’s many groups, this will be a great opportunity to find out more about how you can give of your time and talent. If you are a member of an organization that is looking to recruit new members, or you wish to share your story, this is an event you’ll want to participate in.

There will be three ways you can promote your group and recruit volunteers.

You can have a physical presence at the event, with a booth for $25. Come out and recruit people for your organization or spread the word. This will also allow you to have your organization listed in the Volunteer Recruitment Booklet and have a link on the Chamber website through the Community Volunteer Opportunities Page.

If you cannot be at the event, you can still have your materials at the event at a central informational table, be listed in the overall Volunteer Organizational Booklet and have a link on the website for only $10.

The last option is that you can choose just to have your organization’s information listed in the booklet for $5. There is a reasonable price point for every organization and a way for you to get the information out and the volunteers in.

Organizational sign-ups for the Volunteer Recruitment Day are due to the Chamber by Friday, March 23. You can call the Chamber to have a form faxed to you or pick one up. Please fill the form out and determine which level you prefer. Even if you are looking for volunteers for a single event, this would be a great chance to recruit them.

Do you know the different ways in which you can help out in this community? We will be encouraging people to come out and see the variety of organizations that are in Pagosa and the ways in which residents can volunteer. From history to animals to education and everything in between, and for the older and younger members of the population, there is something for everyone. Whether it is just to keep informed, participate in one event, seasonally or year-round, you can find a group or level of engagement to meet your needs and your interests.

This will be a fun day and the theme ties in, since we will partner with the start of Earth Day celebrations.

While Earth Day is really not until the following week, Pagosa will hold ours a week early in order to e-cycle. We must coordinate with Durango services so we can collect items and transport to Durango. This year, we will again collect electronic equipment, monitors, TVs, laptops, batteries and even CFL and LED lightbulbs. These types of products are not allowed in the landfill. Some of the items will have a cost associated with the recycling effort, as we are charged a fee in Durango. So, now is the time to get that stuff out of your garage and to a place that will recycle the goods.

Along with e-cycling this day, the SOS group has a number of other activities planned from noon to 6 p.m. for people of all ages. Activities include information, mini-classes, booths, food, live music and a beer garden.

Find out how you can make contributions to reducing waste, increase sustainability and perhaps change the way you eat and live. If you have ever thought of growing a garden, there will be help to get you started. There will be lots of information to make it worth your while to attend Earth Day Celebrations.

Come out and support these two efforts as we affect a change and find out ways to help ourselves and our community.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Business events

The Chamber and the Community Development Corporation will host the March SunDowner at the new West-side Visitor Center in the Country Center Plaza. Come see the new location and the plans that we have in store, not only for the center but for the CDC offices. We will highlight some businesses that are also celebrating milestone anniversaries such as Summit Ski and Sports and their 25th anniversary. The March SunDowner will be held Wednesday, March 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. and admission for attendees is $7.

The Chamber will host our monthly Maximizing Your Membership lunch on Monday, March 27. Are you getting a bang for your buck with your membership dues? Please call Jan Santopietro, membership coordinator, to reserve your spot. An hour’s worth of time could gain you clients and revenue.

The second annual Pagosa Springs Tourism Conference and Business Expo will be held April 24 and 25. Senator Al White, director of tourism for the state, along with other state and regional partners, will be in attendance. Do you know how you can leverage advertising to the tourism industry for free or at minimal cost? Do you know about the central reservation system that is being put in place? Do you know how your business can better interact with the Pagosa tourism industry? It will be another exciting event following a very successful inaugural Tourism Conference. More information will be forthcoming shortly or you can contact Jennie Green at sales@visitpagosasprings.com.

The Chamber will also host the second Business to Business Expo. The date has been narrowed down to two dates and we are waiting for confirmation from the guest speakers. The day will consist of lunch and guest speakers, business-to-business booth displays, networking and a business reception. It is important to focus on our tourism market and it is also important to focus on our local clientele and the businesses that are in Pagosa day in and day out. The Expo guest speakers will focus on the effects of “large format retail” and how our smaller businesses can counteract negative effects and succeed in the market. It will be an educational and informational day, and one not to miss. Watch this column for an announcement of the date.

Membership

Welcome to our latest new member — Incredible Pagosa Vacation Rentals owned and operated by Ohea and Steve Graham. They offer several vacation rentals in the downtown area with sizes ranging from a studio apartment to a three-bed/three-bath home. Prices range from $90 to $225 per night, with weekly/monthly discounts. Walk to dining, entertainment and several downtown attractions.

Renewing members this week include 4 Core, Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency, helping to reduce utility bills for businesses and residents of Southwest Colorado; Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County, providing access to decent, affordable housing for working families of modest means; and Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, providing support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other interpersonal violence. Thanks to the following members for renewing their membership and providing products and services to our community: Buzztown.com in Durango, KSUT in Ignacio, Larry Williams Photography and Design, Pagosa Power Sports, Pagosa Springs Inn and Suites, Sunetha Property Management and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

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