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Making our community a better place

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Industry maintains a strong presence in the community, but not everyone knows what our organization does.

What many people don’t know about the Woodstock chamber is that we are a nonprofit organization. What exactly does that mean? We exist for the betterment of the community. Part of our organization’s mission is to organize programs to help our community continue to grow and thrive.

For instance, on May 16 we will be holding our annual State of the City luncheon at the Woodstock Country Club. At the event, Mayor Brian Sager and other city officials will detail issues pertinent to residents and businesses of the community.

The luncheon is a must-attend event for any owner or manager running a Woodstock business, whether that be the smallest mom-and-pop or the largest industrial corporation. The event is not just for businesses, though. There will also be important information for those residents who call Woodstock home. This is, of course, just one example of how the Woodstock chamber gives back to the community.

On May 31, the chamber will proudly produce the annual Miss Woodstock Scholarship Pageant at the historic Woodstock Opera House. At the event, young women from throughout the Woodstock community compete not just for the title of Miss Woodstock, but for a valuable collegiate scholarship. This is the 65th year that we’ve offered the scholarship pageant – proof of its stature in the community.

At the end of June, the chamber will be producing its annual Pickle Palooza music festival, which brings music lovers and their consumer dollars to Woodstock for two days of fun. This year the festival will take place at Woodstock Harley-Davidson and is set to feature a stellar lineup of entertainment including headliner The Wedding Banned, offering covers of fan favorite music set against a backdrop of wedding cliché humor. Other bands on the docket include Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band, Suburban Cowboys, and more.

Of course, none of the programs sponsored by the chamber would be possible without the support of other local businesses and business people. And that’s the challenge I pose to you. Are you doing all that you can to help build a better Woodstock?

If you are not already a member of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Industry, I suggest you join today. But don’t let it end there. Become involved. Join committees. Serve on the board of directors. Do all that you can to help us make a difference.

Membership in the Woodstock chamber is easily attained. We offer membership in capacities to meet every budget: Corporations, individuals, home-based businesses, nonprofits, and churches.

Visit www.woodstockilchamber.com to enroll online, or visit us at our office at 136 Cass St., Woodstock. If you have questions, reach out to us at 815-338-2436. Our dedicated staff is always prepared to offer assistance with a smile.

• Shari Gray is executive director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

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