The Bath County Chamber of Commerce has had a very successful 'season of events' over the past 8 months or so, mainly due to the addition of Ms. Tammy Hahn and Ms. Sage Tanguay (acting as 'co-directors') for the Chamber since their addition last Spring. Both of these ladies bring complimentary skills to Chamber's efforts, and the results have been nothing short of spectacular.
Here are just a few examples: This summer's fundraisers (the "Pig Out" Pig Roast in August and the Bath County Classic Golf Tournament in October) were flawlessly planned, coordinated, and executed. Both events were well attended, and folks had a great time. In addition, both have been attending local events to advertise the benefits of Chamber membership (along with other board members) at venues such as last winter's Maplefest in Highland County, this summer's "Wings & Wheels" at the airport, and the Bath County Fair in August. The "Wings & Wheels" attendees were also grateful for the free water bottles that we passed out there on that hot summer day (which had the added benefit of shortening the FOOD lines, since people wanting only water could get water from us at the Chamber tent and NOT stand in a long line at one of the food trucks); this seemed to work out very well.
In our most recent example of community involvement, the Chamber recently hosted a Candidate's Forum at the Bath County High School auditorium where our residents got to hear FIRSTHAND, from the candidates themselves, their ideas and positions on the issues that will influence the vote on November 5th (Election Day). The Chamber hosted this in partnership with Allegheny Mountain Radio (AMR). Not only did Tammy and Sage plan and coordinate the event, Sage even "MC'd" the event. Almost as important as the forum itself, most candidates even stayed afterward to enjoy refreshments and answer additional questions from the people who attended.
Since early August, the Chamber has also been creating and distributing a "Coming Up in Bath County" poster that you may have seen in the windows and on the bulletin boards of various area merchants (an example is below). Updated weekly or bi-weekly, this poster provides a 'snapshot' of upcoming events being hosted by Chamber members or Community non-profit organizations. With the frequent updates, this poster advertises upcoming events for locals and visitors alike and keeps the information 'fresh'.
Efforts are being made to strengthen the relationships with other area Chambers, as well. A recent example includes Bath County Chamber representation at a Alleghany County Chamber meeting in Covington with the US Forest Service (USFS) and "outdoor stakeholders" wishing to voice concerns or express ideas concerning outdoor issues under the USFS area of control (such as the condition of area hiking trails, Lake Moomaw facilities, etc.). Working with other area Chamber of Commerce organizations enables a louder and stronger voice into an area that affects both local tourism efforts AND the interests of local residents alike--that of improved recreational facilities.
Here is an example: Although the effort was initiated by the USFS and NOT by any chamber or outside group, the Chamber heartily applauded the hiring of two 'trail clearing' crews by the USFS that came to our area for nine days back in September- and a Chamber Board member even wrote an article for The Recorder about the great work being done by these crews to clear local hiking trails over that nine-day period. The crews were active in the Hidden Valley Recreation Area, the Lake Moomaw trails, and also on the trails on the east side of Warm Springs Mountain near the Clifton Forge reservoir. A picture of one of the crews (along with a few local volunteers and USFS personnel involved) was printed in that August Recorder article and is repeated here (below; photo courtesy of Matt Hillmer, one of the local volunteers).
In short, we've been pretty busy! And we hope people have noticed. If YOU would like to get involved with the Bath County Chamber of Commerce or even join, please contact the chamber office at (540) 839-5409, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the webpage at www.countyofbathchamber.org