Garrettsville – The November 3rd Garrettsville Area Chamber Meeting was held at the Nelson United Methodist Church. Thank you to Pastor Rick for hosting the meeting and a big thanks to Pam and Norma for the tasty breakfast.
Ruth Simera gave the treasurer’s report and was happy to announce that there is over $2000 in the flower basket fund for next year. The recently held Masquerade Ball brought in approximately $2,200 for the scholarship fund.
Roger Angel invited everyone with children and grandchildren to come to Story Hour on Tuesday nights at the Dairy Queen. Children are welcome to wear their jammies, bring a blanket and settle down in front of the fire with a free cup of hot chocolate.
Hallie Higgins mentioned the need for donations for the People Tree again this year. The retired Telephone Pioneers, that have provided toys in the past, are no longer able to donate toys for walk-in families and to fill in the gaps. Lists will be available shortly if you would like to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program. This year the maximum age for children on the list is sixteen. Volunteers are needed for bell ringing, moving day, distribution, and clean up day. If you are able to volunteer time or would like to donate, please contact Hallie.
Jackie Reinearson spoke about the upcoming Holiday Social that is scheduled for December 4th. Admission to the social is a donation of a new toy that will be donated to the People Tree. New this year is a Letter from Santa. The cost of this letter is $8 and letters will be mailed to children with an ornament from Santa. Curtains Up Theater has been working hard on this year’s play, Miracle on 34th Street, which will be presented at the Intermediate School. The live greenery sale will also begin soon to help you get ready for the holidays.
Tommie Jo Marsilio and Kathleen Clyde were recognized for winning at the polls on November 2nd. Tommie Jo will be taking office as a Portage County Commissioner in January, while Kathleen will be taking office as State Representative. Both of these hometown girls fought a hard battle and captured a deserved  win. Congratulations!
At  the Chamber Board meeting in October, a letter that was sent anonymously was discussed. The Board members decided that it was best to share the overall meaning of the letter to the Chamber members. The writer conveyed that he/she feels that only certain people say what is or is not happening for Chamber events. He/she feels that any new idea not in line with thoughts of those people are shot down rather than discussed and built upon. It is this persons thought that Chamber will remain as it is without any new ideas that could bring about good things for the community as a whole.
Many of the members suggested that the person who wrote the letter step up and get involved more or even take over and chair one of the committees. However it was brought to everyone’s attention by a Board member that this letter described the desire to feel involved and have his/her thoughts heard, not take over a position but simply to be an equal part of the group.
The Board wishes to convey to the person who wrote the letter, and any others who feel the same way, that they realize that perhaps after being involved in Chamber for many years and trying things, they are quick to say what won’t work. It is not the intention of the Board to alienate people and they encourage new ideas. The Board members expressed their apologies and asked that anyone who had an idea please bring it to the meeting or call one of the Board members if you are not comfortable speaking in a group setting.
The letter brought about an introspective look into the Chamber and is a positive step in changes for the betterment of the group and community. A listing of all committees and positions will be included in the next newsletter. All members are encouraged to select committees that they wish to be a part of and also write down any ideas that they may have for Chamber to help better the community.
If you would like to join the Garrettsville Area Chamber, you don’t have to be a business owner, simply a community member who has an interest in the betterment of the community. For more information on becoming a member, contact Gretchen at (330) 527-2121.