040314 Chamber Column Photo

Joyce BieberCenterville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce executive director

The Daily Iowegian

It has been a busy start to 2014 as we work to prepare for the many spring and summer activities and get ready for our summer visitors to Rathbun Lake. We just received a supply of 30,000 brochures that we are working to distribute. We also have ordered new decorative banners for the Historic Courthouse District and the Levee District and expect them to arrive any day.

Earlier this year we unveiled a couple of initiatives with the goal of engaging local residents in volunteerism. We, like every community, are in a situation where the largest segment of our population is reaching retirement age. We need younger people to become more involved in community service. The great thing about community service is that there are so many avenues and so many worthwhile projects. There truly is something for everyone. We have been encouraged by the response that we have received. I look forward to seeing the results from some of the projects that are being adopted by our local businesses and sharing these stories with the community.

We also hope to have more of our members become more involved in Chamber of Commerce activities. As an organization that is completely built on volunteerism, the Chamber relies on members to direct, plan and support our annual program of work. This occurs not only on a board level but also within the various committees that operate under our umbrella. Members are encouraged to be active in at least one committee.

We are also making a concentrated effort to work more closely and efficiently with other local organizations and bring other organizations together. There are some exciting programs going on and the more that we work together, the easier it is to see how we can support each other to maximize our successes. Examples of separate, yet related projects that are now collaborating include the Appanoose EcoVision Project, Appanoose Wellness Coalition, community gardens and the Iowa State Design Lab Project. All four projects have a goal of creating an active outdoor environment, yet each entity approaches it from a different angle. There is definitely an atmosphere of excitement as we analyze the potential of these projects.

On our website, www.centervilleia.com, we have a calendar of events and we encourage the entire community to refer to it for information about upcoming meetings, events and opportunities to get involved. Community members can also add items to be listing on the calendar (just click submit a new event at the top). In addition, the Chamber sends out a weekly email with information about upcoming events. To subscribe to the free newsletter, send an email to chamber@cen tervilleia.com.

If you have any ideas or suggestions about Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce activities, stop by or give us a call at 437-4102.

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