Before I run through the upcoming activities of the Chamber, I'd like to say thank you to some very special people. Our Board of Directors is losing six members whose terms are expiring this month.
To Alex Collins, Craig Watson, Laura Horton, Lt. Col. Roy Hennigan, Dan Gibson, and Mary Whitaker, thank you for your years of dedicated service to the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce. Your enthusiasm and hard work will be sorely missed. It has been a privilege to learn from and be guided by you. This by no means is a release from Chamber activities, however. I hope you will continue to be a part of Ribbon Cuttings, Alive After Five, and other events. You and the companies you represent are still Chamber members. Don't be a stranger!!
Mark your calendars for the 2014 Membership Banquet to be held Tuesday, January 21 at 7:00 at the Minden Civic Center. The committee is hard at work making plans for another great banquet. We raised the bar last year, so expect another wonderful event this year. Tickets will go on sale soon and will be available at the Chamber office. Gibsland Bank & Trust is our title sponsor and Terry Gardner will once again serve as our Banquet Chair. Please make plans to attend. It's going to be GREAT!
The Chamber is once again the local ticket outlet for the Advocare V100 Bowl. Please call the office at 377-4240, and Jamie can explain the ticket pricing and seating. Your Chamber makes $10 off every ticket we sell. If you're planning to attend, why not support the Chamber and buy your tickets from us?
We began an email Shopping Guide last week that many of you may have seen. This is our way of encouraging you to spend your dollars locally this Christmas buying season. We have conveniently divided the list into "Gifts for Him," "Gifts for Her," "Gifts for Kids/Teens," and "Gift Cards." Each category suggests local stores and businesses for all of your gift-giving needs. PLEASE make a concerted effort to do your shopping here.
I don't remember the last time I saw a Sam's ad in a local football program or read of Lowe's, Home Depot or Dillard's donating to the Miss Minden Scholarship fund. Before you head out to do your shopping, ask yourself, "Might I be able to buy the things on my list in Minden and South Webster Parish?"
So what if you might pay a few dollars' more? How much are you spending on gas running back and forth to Shreveport or Bossier; not to mention the time and traffic?! Your local businesses are the people who support our schools, churches, sports teams, and so much more. We need our Minden dollars to stay in Minden!! Give it a try. You just might discover you like staying home. And I can promise you, no employee in our local stores has been instructed NOT to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!
There are many more upcoming events for 2014 including a few new ones and some new twists on some old ones, but I'll expound on those next month. For now, I want to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Board of Directors, our Members, Jamie and me. Be safe and give thanks. God still reigns, Jesus is alive, and we still live in the best country on this Earth.
May Christmas 2013 be filled with love, laughter and family...
Jerri de Pingre' is the president of the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce. Her column runs monthly in the Minden Press-Herald.