Mississippi Mills Chamber of Commerce holds its last mixer of the season

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by David Baril, Secretary

Mixmaster Paddye Mann welcomed us with a retrospective of the Mixer program that started with Dale Dunning‘s presentation on art as a business in September and included a wonderful Xmas program at Heritage CourtLeonard Lee‘s insights into niche marketing in a Big Box world at Love That Barr in Pakenham,  Peter Leach on what it takes to be an entrepreneur and last month’s session on attracting local shoppers.  We were also delighted to welcome new members, Drew McDougall and Susan Brandt of Gamada consulting, Stacie Lloyd, Commercial Account Manager at RBC and Amber Marie Hall, owner of Bitten Cookies.

The Chamber presented a lovely bouquet of spring flowers to Marian and Jack Elgood who are closing Curiosities, the antique shop they have operated for many years at 30 Mill Street.  But wait!  They will be moving some of their stock and continue their presence on main street as part of the Almonte Antique Market at 26 Mill Street.

Craig and Amber Hall welcomed us to the Equator in fine style with delicious appetizers prepared by the mother and daughter team of Sharon and Kristen Lloyd of Sweetcheeks Kitchen who are the newest members of the Almonte Farmers Market.  Craig’s talk included some wonderful photos of from the coffee growing regions of the world and he showed us how fair trade helps to support producers in those countries while ensuring that consumers get the best quality.  One of the key points of Craig’s talk was the idea that the Chamber of Commerce could function in many ways like the coffee producer and distribution co-ops to pool resources for marketing and in other areas of common interest.

This tied in nicely with a suggestion from Kristen Ray of the Naismith Foundation that the Chamber and other interested parties join in undertaking a comprehensive market research intiative to identify key opportunities and target markets for Mississippi Mills as a whole.

Although the mixers on on hiatus over the summer, there are lots of events and activities taking place.  One of the suggestions we are working on is the idea of creating an online calendar that will provide a listing of business and community events and activities going on throughout the year.  In the meantime, check out the following announcements:

  • Kris Riendeau announced the team leaders from the board who will take on the various portfolios we introduced at the Chamber’s AGM in March.  Scott McLellan will be first out of the gate with a survey to identify needs in the area of education and training.We will save the details about this and other portfolios for a follow-up message in the next week or so. We will be looking for volunteers help out, so stay tuned!
  • Alex Vorobej of Mississippi Mills Music Works was unable to attend the mixer as he had to be at his own birthday party!  Happy Birthday Alex!  He is working with Voice Found, a national non-profit organization for the prevention of child abuse and they are looking for donations to a silent auction on June 30th that will attract an audience throughout the Ottawa region. For more info, go to http://www.voicefound.ca/events/fundraisers.
  • Al Potvin representing the Mississippi Mills Riverkeepers made an appeal for ongoing attention to the  development proposal for the upper falls in Almonte.  To join the Riverkeepers mailing list, send a request to yourmississippi@gmail.com.
  • Marilyn Anderson called our attention to the Strawberry Social with the Perth Citizens Band on Sunday, 24 June from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m at the North Lanark Regional Museum in Appleton. Tickets are availalble at Baker Bob’s.
  • Kris Riendeau told us that Puppets Up! is still looking for volunteers in particular they would like to do a survey of people attending the festival.  If you would like to help this wonderful festival (and fantastic boon to local business!), contact Jan Watson via email at jwatson@themills.on.ca.
  • Jeff Mills sent info about a new initiative to boost cycle tourism through the development of a map of bicycle routes and destinations in Mississippi Mills.  If you would like to get your business on the map or find out more about the project, contact Jeff at jmills@themills.on.ca.

We also had another wonderful crop of door prizes:

  • Marian Elgood won a lovely bracelet donated by Maxine Brown of Make Up by Maxine.
  • Joe Rizk of Woodware who joined the Chamber just last month and won one of the door prizes decided to reciprocate by donating three lovely wooden picture frames – the lucky winners were Bryn Matthews, Gord Pike and Carmel Broughton.
  • Margie Argue of Mississippi Meadows Honey, another one of last months winners, donated an Equator Coffee Roasters gift certificate which was won by Robin Singleton of Paper Thin.
  • Gary Gillis, Drafting and Technical Services donated two gift certificates for Don’s Meat Market again this month. Kathleen O’Leary of the Hub and Joy Neville of Royal LePage Gale Real Estate will each have something tasty to grill on the BBQ this weekend!
  • Last but not least, Chamber profile ads in the Humm and the EMC went to  Fraser Scantlebury, United Way Lanark County and Drew McDougall, Gamada Consulting.

Thanks to volunteers Kathleen O’Leary, Cathy Gordon and Amber Marie Hall who handled the registration desks this month, Marilyn Anderson who took care of the door prize tickets and special thanks Phil Wood and Kathleen O’Leary who took on bartending duties.

Finally, mark Wednesday, August 29 in your calendars for the Chamber’s annual Golf Tournament to be held again this year at the Mississippi Golf Club in Appleton.  On-line registration will be available shortly and sponsorship opportunities are avaialble by contacting tournament organizer Adrian Ayotte.