The Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce is in the heat of its sales campaign for the year to fund its various events throughout the year.
“We are in the middle of our Total Resource Campaign,” Jerri de Pingre’, president and CEO of the chamber, said. “We have five teams that are competing for prizes and bragging rights. What they’re doing is selling sponsorships for our events between now and March 31. There are events in 2015 with a few events in 2016.”
The sponsorship year runs from April 1 through March 31.
“We really want to encourage the business community to take a look at what these folks have to offer,” she said. “It’s a fun campaign, but it’s also very important, because it gives us our budget for all of our events.”
Minden Medical Center is the title sponsor for the TRC, de Pingre’ says.
At the end of the blitz, the winning team will get a trip on an Amtrak train from Marshall, Texas to Dallas. The trip runs with the theme this year: Rails to Revenue: Get on Board with the Chamber. de Pingre said the good thing is Amtrak has donated the tickets for the trip.
“The teams have to earn a certain dollar amount in sales to qualify for the trip,” she said, adding the teams aren’t selling sponsorships and memberships for the trip. “They’re doing it because they’re volunteering for their community.”
There are several events throughout the year in which the drive raises funds including the annual chamber banquet and others.
New this year will be the first ever First Responders Appreciation Lunch.
It will work much like sponsorships for the chamber banquet, but instead of getting eight tickets for a table, the business will only get two. The idea is for the rest of the table to be filled with first responders.
“We want our businesses to realize how important our first responders are,” she said.
That event, sponsored by Town and Country Health and Rehab, is scheduled for Sept. 1.
Other events include the teachers’ breakfast and Eggs and Issues where elected officials eat breakfast with the business community.
“We’re just trying to connect what’s happening in Baton Rouge, city hall and Washington, D.C. with our local businesses,” de Pingre’ said.
Another event this year will allow the business community to contribute to the parish’s children and teachers through the Webster Education Endowment Fund. de Pingre’ explained grants are awarded from the interest earned in the fund. The chamber selects the recipients of the grants.
“We included it in our TRC as a way to try to grow that principle, so that we’ll be able to give more grants. The minimum donation is $100. That also helps those businesses that might not be able to donate $1,000, but they can write a check for $200. That’s going to grow our fund so we can help more teachers.”
Currently, the chamber has received 17 applications but only has enough to grant awards to nine teachers.
In order to sponsor something for the chamber, the business has to be a member.
“That’s the whole point of the campaign,” she adds. “If you are a team member, you’ve got connections to people that I don’t know. That’s kind of the hope – it’s relationship driven; people go out to the people in their circles, and it may be people that we’ve never had the opportunity to interact with before.”
For more information, call the chamber office at 377-4240 or email at email@example.com.