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Let’s rally as a community to win grant

With a brilliant start, rocketing from 361st to 60th place, then moving to 39th place in the Pepsi Refresh Grant program, the Mural on Main project has stalled at 42nd place.

This is not in the top 10 and it will take a very concerted effort to jump 32 places. But it can be done, if the community decides to weigh in, vote, and get the $50,000 for this project and the community. Do you want it?

To recap, the Chamber of Commerce was one of the first 1,000 entries in March to submit a grant to Pepsi Corp., which is giving away $1.3 million every month to projects all over the United States.

The voting began April 1 and projects must rank in the top 10 at the end of voting to receive funding in their financial category. We are vying for $50,000 in the Arts and Culture category. We are No. 5 in the Arts & Culture $50,000 category, but we are competing against five other categories, and we rank 42 out of the total.

There are a lot of people out there voting every day, but more people are needed to make this grant process happen. I do not believe that the winners are determined by the size of the community. I believe victory is based on the word getting out and people taking 30 seconds out of their day to vote for this project.

This project is not a joke! It could mean $50,000 will come to this community to make something happen and help refurbish our downtown area. There is no cost to us. We do not have to tap into any of our community resources — they can be used for other projects. You won’t get slammed with Pepsi spam once you give your e-mail address. You don’t have to spend a dime, for a change, to see something great happen in our community. We might get some exposure, letting people know what a cool community we are, rallying together to make this project happen. How great would it be if, within 60 days of receiving a grant, we could. submit photos to Pepsi to show them what their money did?

We need to vote. We need to rally together as a community, young and old. E-mail your friends, family, Facebook fans; remind them how important this project is to us and ask them to please vote. Is everyone in your office voting? Are you reminding people daily when you see them, asking them if they voted for the mural project today? By the next week, I expect us to be in the teens and then we will be in the home stretch.

Let’s go to work Pagosa. Spread the word.

Here is the easiest way to get to the Pepsi Refresh Project/Mural on Main grant. Go to www.refresheverything.com/visitpagosasprings. If you have more than one e-mail, just log off in the bottom left corner of your screen and then you can go right back to the site. You can also put in Mural on Main in the “Search” box and our project will pull right up.

This can be a reality — but does the community want it badly enough? I hope so! Let’s bring some money into this community, secure some jobs for people, and brighten up our downtown area!

Business Bites

The reality of the situation is that it is getting more difficult to obtain financing for a business.

Yet, businesses still want to expand or bring on a new product line. Some need assistance with cash flow. The Business Bites slated for Tuesday, April 27, will focus on these critical business needs.

Tom Francis, vice president of SBA Lending with Wells Fargo, and Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be here to talk about lending and the keys to business success.

This short lunch seminar this month is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. It is important that you look at financial alternatives for your business and what is out there for you in the lending world. This session will be of particular value to persons interested in starting a business.

The Business Bites session will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center from noon to 1 p.m. The cost is only $5 and lunch will be provided.

Call the Chamber to reserve a space at this session. An expanded version will be held in Durango on April 28. For more information and to reserve a slot, call 264-2360.

Follies

Back for another fun-filled two evenings in 2010, the Rotary Follies will be held at Liberty Theatre Friday and Saturday, April 16-17. with shows beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Follies is Pagosa’s “break up the winter blahs” event, featuring lots of laughs, frolic and satire — taking potshots at ourselves and at many aspects of Pagosa life. The Pagosa Mountain Morning Rotary production will keep you laughing and entertained with a variety of “celebrity” appearances and clever skits. Beer, wine and concessions will be available, as well as some door prizes. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $25 per couple, or $20 each, or $30 per couple at the door. Tickets are on sale at the Chamber, Moonlight Books, Bank of Colorado, Pagosa Brewing Company and American Family Insurance. Come out for an early dinner at one of Pagosa’s great restaurants, then head over to Liberty Theatre for an evening of fun.

And, while downtown, take another look at the deteriorating mural just down from Liberty Theatre and vote for the Mural on Main project.

E-cycle Day

On Friday and Saturday, April 16-17, the Chamber of Commerce and Archuleta County will join forces to host two E-cycle days. Computer monitors, CPUs, TVs keyboards, laptop batteries, cell phones and other electronic devices can be recycled for free, or for a nominal cost. Collection will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days at the Chamber parking lot. If you have a large number of items to recycle, call Jennifer at the county at 264-5660, Ext. 221, to schedule an appointment to drop off your items, as well as to provide an inventory.

Don’t throw your electronic goods into the landfill — recycle them. For prices or more information, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Free Microsoft class

The Chamber will host a free Microsoft Windows 7 class for those interested in upgrading or changing their software.

Microsoft 7 Community Connections is offering the class; the session will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 16. Kurt Raymond with Raymond Rent-a-Nerd is the certified trainer.

There will also be some giveaways, discounts and lots of information. Please call the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve your space and so we can make sure there are enough chairs and snacks.

‘So Long Insecurity’

A live simulcast will take place Friday, April 24, at Centerpoint Church, featuring national speaker Beth Moore. Beth will bring a transforming message to women — that they can conquer their fears and doubts, and that they do not have to be slaves to their insecurities.

The cost of the all-day seminar is $15 in advance, $20 at the door and this price includes lunch. Contact Janie Bard at (303) 947-0075 for more information. Tickets are available at Centerpoint Church.

Wine Glass Dash

After filing your taxes, you’ll want to run off some frustration at the first annual Wine Glass Dash at Wines of the San Juan down by Navajo Dam. The race is Saturday, April 17, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and will finish by noon. There will be prizes, a T-shirt and a wine glass with a glass of wine included in your $35 entry fee. Proceeds from the event go to Families of Children with Niemann Pick Disease. The course for the run is varied and scenic, taking you from hay fields to the mysterious bosque and the river’s edge. We have applications for the race at the Chamber, or you can call Wines of the San Juan at (505) 632-0879.

Membership news

This week, we again have a number of renewals to announce: the Town of Pagosa Springs; Appraisal Services with past Chamber board president Jessie Formwalt; Pagosa Land Company with J.R. Ford; Ensignal; Paws, Feathers, Fins & Friends Pet Sitting Service; Blair Roofing; LaWana DeWees with Land Properties; Mountain Heights Baptist Church with Curt Wiggers; and the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Going backward in the mural voting process is not an option. Receiving the grant for our mural and pocket park project is going to take people being committed to getting the word out and voting each day until the end of the month. We’re moving forward, Pagosa — please help us.