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Special event money available for organizations

By Mary Jo Coulehan
SUN Columnist

Part of the 2013 tourism budget presented to the county commissioners for expenditures from the lodging tax dollars collected was an amount that was to be used for special events.

The commissioners approved $10,000 to be distributed to non-profit organizations that are producing a special event that will attract visitors to the area or improve the community experience of the visitor through the event. The funds can also be used for a nonprofit to develop a tourism attraction and with this funding improve the facility or create an activity to attract or enhance the experience of the visitor. The non-profit organization can apply the special event funding to marketing efforts to attract visitors to our area, with an emphasis to their facility or event.

Applications must be submitted and there are restrictions: the amount of funding for any particular group cannot exceed $1,000; the organization cannot have requested and received funding from the Town Tourism Committee for that particular event. As stated in the application, the organization must be specific on use of the funds and present a budget along with the application. A group of five community members who are not involved in a non-profit volunteer position or sitting on the board of a nonprofit involved in the grant process will be chosen to review the applications.

The application will be available on Monday, Aug. 12, and can be obtained online at www.pagosaspringschamber.com under the “Stay Connected” tab or in hard copy at the Chamber offices.

The application must be completed and returned to the Chamber by Friday, Aug. 30. Reviews will be set for early September.

If your event or marketing efforts have already been established for 2013, you can still apply for funding as a reimbursement, provided you follow the guidelines.

Questions can be directed to Mary Jo Coulehan at 264-2360 or director@pagosachamber.com. Potentially, a minimum of 10 organizations could receive some funding assistance. The Chamber board and the county commissioners look forward to investing lodging tax dollars in the community on behalf of tourism efforts by our many great organizations.

Mark your calendar

August is filled with weekend events for the family to enjoy.

The 15th annual United Way Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. The shotgun start is at 9 a.m. and the $80 registration fee includes green fee, cart, range balls and lunch. Proceeds from the event benefit local United Way programs that support education, self-reliance and health. Enjoy a day out on the golf course while helping numerous non-profit agencies here in Archuleta County.

The ever popular, annual Auction for the Animals, organized by the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, will take place on Friday, Aug. 23. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center. Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, microbrews and wines will be available in abundance that evening, along with fantastic silent and live auction items. Proceeds from this event will benefit the animals at the Humane Society shelter. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

The Mountain Chile Cha Cha will be held Saturday, Aug. 24. The day begins with a children’s 1K fun run followed by the adult 5K, 10K and half marathon race. There will be some new trails for this race and they will be more challenging, but just as beautiful as in years past. Town Park will be full of Cha Cha festivities beginning around 10 a.m. This year, the park will be the site of children’s activities, food, a beer garden and live music. The race and green chile awards will also take place in Town Park. The bands Faculty X and Manzanares will perform. The Patty Aragon Green Chili Classic cookoff will be held beginning at around 12:30 p.m. Purchase your tasting tickets, then vote for your favorite green chile entry. Enjoy a family outing at Town Park and squirrel away some roasted green chiles to tide you over for the winter. For more information, visit www.joingecko.org.

Don’t forget there are theater performances and an art show continuing until September. ’“The Full Monty” and “Spamalot” continue at the Pagosa Center for the Arts this weekend, playing to rave reviews. Beginning on Friday, Aug. 16, the play “Good People” will be staged at the Pagosa Center for the Arts. This is a “mature audience” play and it will be performed until Sept. 1.

Print International 4 is still being shown at the SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts on Bastille Drive. The facility is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists from 27 states and several countries, including Iceland and Canada, were selected to show their work. The exhibit continues until Sept. 7.

Don’t forget that fresh fruits and vegetables are available at the Farmers Market, held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ponderosa Lumber off of Eagle Drive, just east of Piedra Road.

Membership 

We have two new businesses to welcome as Chamber members this week.

Cobalt Mortgage, with Sarah Taylor, joins the Chamber with years of mortgage experience. Founded in Washington state in 2001, this company has survived the mortgage crisis and has become a flexible lender and leader in the mortgage industry. If you are interested in refinancing your home or financing a new home, contact Sarah at 264-2002.

We also welcome the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership. The members of this group are individuals and groups representing business interests, conservation organizations, local, state and federal government agencies, recreational interests, ranchers, property owners associations, scientists and interested citizens. The group is interested in sharing and strengthening an understanding of appropriate methods of maintaining and increasing forest health resiliency, broadening knowledge of current conditions and guiding adaptive management techniques for communities that live within the wildfire-prone region of the headwaters of the San Juan River. For more information about joining this action-oriented group, contact Aaron Kimple at the Mountain Studies Institute at 382-6908.

Our renewals this week include Fireside Inn Cabins, Hartland Ranch, Aspen Moose, Wolf Creek Anglers and the Bar D Wranglers.

With October fast approaching, there will be some changes being announced soon concerning the monthly SunDowners or Business After Hours functions. The Chamber is looking to make the application process easier for our businesses. We also are looking to add some new amenities to the functions. If you are a business owner who is interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2014, stay tuned for news about the enhancements.

This story was posted on August 8, 2013.