As we turn the page on another month and move toward the close of 2012, I can't help but feel thanks and gratitude for all that God has given us.
While other parts of the country have felt the ravages of a terrible storm, we have enjoyed what is often called "Chamber of Commerce Weather" this week. Halloween is behind us and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Things at the Chamber are ramping up for a big finish with a multitude of activities in November.
I will give you a run down of those in a minute but wanted to comment on a few things that have occurred in October. We celebrated our 70th Birthday with an evening of shared memories and good food on October 11th. While I actually learned quite a bit about our Chamber's history, what I will remember most is the laughter. So many wonderful stories were told by our returning past Chairmen of the Board; from Marcus Wren to current chair, Sarah Haynes. A good time was definitely had by all.
Special thanks to our sponsors for the event especially Walter and Libby Ledig for allowing Town & Country Health & Rehab/Weston Place to serve as the Title Sponsor. We celebrated Ribbon Cuttings this month at Evergreen Life Services and TG's and enjoyed a wonderful time at Gibsland Bank's After Hours on the 16th. October 24th saw our offices filled with high school students as we welcomed the 2012-13 class of Webster Youth Leadership. High school juniors from Doyline, Lakeside, Glenbrook and Minden High will spend one day a month for the next eight months learning about our city, its government, economy and all we have to offer.
They are enthusiastic and a delight. I want to welcome Anna Fink, Kelly McFarland, Eleanor Gilbert, Morgan Hanson, Riley Smith, Kaerington Wilson, Karli Loftin, Allison Powell, Austin Snider, Avery Maness, Bryanne Stanberry, Louis Moore, Samantha Townsend, LaDarius Joseph, Leslie Davis and Molly McCann to WYL. Terry Gardner has a great program planned and we look forward to our time together in the coming months.
Registration remains open for our Tuscan Adventure. There are limited spaces for this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
We don't want you to miss out. The price includes round trip airfare out of Shreveport, two meals per day, and seven days of touring Tuscany and the Italian countryside. The trip departs March 13 and returns March 21, 2013. There is a $500 registration fee which will be applied to the cost of the trip. Call the Chamber at 377-4240 for more details.
Main to Main starts today and runs through Saturday. This is a wonderful event sponsored by our Main Street and Tourism partners.
The Fasching & Fifth Season Festival is scheduled for November 10 & 11. Watch the paper or visit the Webster Parish Convention and Visitor's website for all the details of this fun event.
There will be a Christmas Open House at three of our Chamber partners' businesses. Fanette's, Merle Norman and TG's will welcome the Christmas buying season on Sunday, November 4th from 1-4. Special deals and goodies will abound so make plans to start your Christmas shopping early.
Our November After Hours will be held on the 13th at Camp Minden. This is a community event NOT reserved for Chamber members. We will commence at 17:30 hours (that's 5:30 for civilians!) with food and fellowship. Camp Minden is enjoying tremendous growth so make the trip down Highway 80. Who knows, you might even spot an extraterrestrial!
The annual Farm-City Prayer Breakfast is November 15th at the Minden Civic Center. Once again the Louisiana Egg Commission will be cooking. Coffee's on at 6:00 a.m. with breakfast to follow at 6:30. Joe Lynn Robinson from Redeemed Ranch will be the speaker. We are so grateful to the Egg Commission as well as Brookshire's for helping with this important event.
Nominations are complete for our 2nd annual "15 Under 40" awards and gala. The event is scheduled for November 27th at 6:30 at the Minden Civic Center. "15 Under 40" honors young professionals under the age of 40 from Doyline, Sibley, Dubberly, Heflin, Dixie Inn and Minden who have exhibited excellence in their work environment as well as outstanding community service. We have some wonderful nominees and look forward to honoring Minden & South Webster's top "15 Under 40." Advanced tickets for the event may be purchased at our office for $20 each and will include dinner. The cost is $25 after November 20th.
The Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce will welcome a special guest at our November meeting on the 28th. Mrs. Martha Manuel will share her new book Murder on False River at our monthly meeting.
Murder on False River is a work of fiction set in Louisiana. Mrs. Manuel is a childhood friend of Dathene Brown and we look forward to hearing about her book. She will also be available after our meeting in the Chamber board room from 1-3. The community is invited and encouraged to meet Mrs. Manuel, purchase a book and have it signed by the author.
As you begin to make plans for your Christmas shopping, please remember that your local merchants need your support. Why spend so much money on gas driving "elsewhere," when you can find unique and wonderful gifts right here in Minden? Let's make this a record year for our area merchants. They are the backbone of our community.
Have a great November and remember "In all things...give Thanks!"
Jerri de Pingre' is president of the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce.