About Your Colon Area Chamber of Commerce
The Colon Area Chamber of Commerce meets monthly, at 7:00 p.m. on the second Thursday, at the Village Office. Many of the Chamber Committees, for example the Fourth of July committee or the Christmas in Colon committee, meet more frequently on a schedule typically emailed to concerned members.
Your Colon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:
- Pamela Gilbert– President (Gilbert’s Shell)
- Keith Bowers– Vice President (Bower’s Service Station)
- Carl Thornton – Secretary (5-Star Pizza and other businesses)
- Lisa Gilman – Treasurer (Loan Officer, Sturgis Bank & Trust)
- Cindy Conklin – Trustee ( home health care, involved in magic)
- Ron Carnell – Trustee (Magician, Author & more)
- Mikeal Smoker – Trustee (Commander of the American Legion)
What Is a Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber is a partnership of businesses, professionals and concerned citizens working together to build a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in a community. It is essentially a network to promote and protect the interests of its members.
Who Are Chamber Members?
Chamber members are businesses, organizations, and individuals concerned with the social and economic climate of their community. These groups have joined together because they stand a better chance of getting things done when speaking with a collective voice.
Where Does a Chamber of Commerce Get its Funding?
Most Chambers exist as a result of membership dues, private donations and fundraising; it is common for a local Chamber to sponsor events in order to not only raise funding, but also to raise awareness of the presence of the Chamber of Commerce and its members.
Your Colon Area Chamber’s Current & Proposed Activities
The Colon Area Chamber’s first Meet & Greet occurred on February 22, 2018 at the American Legion. It was sponsored by Davis & Davis Insurance and was exceptionally well attended, drawing over sixty people. The Chamber is following up with plans for additional seasonal Meet & Greets, one for winter, spring, summer and fall. Dates and locations will be announced. If you would like sponsor one of these events please contact any of our Board members.
For the past four years, the Chamber has helped sponsor the annual 31 Flavors of Magic festival, organized by the local magic club, Ring 386. The festival involves most of the businesses and organization in the village, frequently bringing in hundreds of families to spend a Spring afternoon in Colon.
The Chamber also pays for all of the street performers (buskers) during the Abbott’s Get-Together in August. These magicians perform outside local businesses, on the street or sidewalk, drawing attention and traffic to the business. Abbott’s coordinates with John Sturk to organize the performers.
A new event for Colon this year will be in June; the Green Egg cook off. Time Taylor set this up and is working with the American Legion. The Chamber will also be working to add some activities, yet to be determined.
Your Chamber organizes the nomination and voting for Colon’s annual award for Citizens of the Year. The 2018 Citizens of the Year were The Colon Police Department and Colon Fire Department. This year, Police Chief Mark Brinkert was also presented with an Honorary Village Citizen award for his outstanding job as Police Chief. The Citizens of the Year are recognized during the Fourth of July Parade where they are awarded a certificate and plaque. An official Dinner Party, organized and sponsored by the Chamber, will typically follow later in the summer.
By far, the most extensive (and expensive) activity organized by the Colon Area Chamber every year is the Fourth of July Celebration. The parade is frequently recognized as one of the best in the area, especially for a smaller village, and brings in literally THOUSANDS of viewers and participants to Colon.
The vendors, magic shows, games and other activities on Blackstone Avenue will keep many of those people in town for much of the afternoon. The Fireworks display over Palmer Lake begins as dusk and is sponsored by Sparkles.
Other traditional Fourth of July activities in Colon include the Ring of Fire on Palmer Lake on the 3rd and Tim Taylor’s Palmer Lake Flotilla held on a Saturday either immediately before or after the Fourth.
The Chamber is also working with the Lion’s Club on additional Halloween activities. A proposed “Haunted Trail” for the kids is in the works. We are also working with community members on a “Witches Night Out” event for the adults.
Christmas in Colon is another event organized and largely sponsored by the Chamber. It was originally started by local businesses and, over the years, the Chamber has added to the event and made it village-wide. Your Chamber coordinates with virtually all of the businesses and organizations in Colon, resulting in shopping opportunities, snacks, give-a-ways, a visit from Santa, a rapidly growing parade and much, much more. This year the Chamber bought a tree and decorations, in concert with the Colon Village Council, to be displayed on the Library’s front lawn. Decorating the Christmas Tree was a fun event attended by many community participants. And every year the Chamber pays for flyers, posters and signs to promote the event.