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Chamber board voting ends Saturday, events galore

At the annual meeting on Saturday, the voting for nominees that are running for the Chamber Board of Directors will come to a close. You may currently vote at the Chamber office, with one vote per membership allowed.

The individuals running for the Chamber board are: Pam Barsanti with Jim Smith Realty; Jennifer Burck, owner of Wind Wranglers Balloon Company; Mark Monaco, owner of Liberty Theatre; Bob Moomaw, friend of the Chamber; Todd Stevens, co-owner of Alley House Grille and Farrago Market Café; and Aurora Wright, owner of Mud Shaver Car Wash.

We appreciate all of these candidates running for the board. Each one of them would bring many talents to the Chamber Board of Directors. They represent various business factions in our community and will complement the existing board of directors.

Going off the current board of directors will be Brent Christians from Galles Properties. Brent is the current vice-president and has brought great insight, conviction and new ideas to the board, also volunteering for various events. Steve Kuhlman, co-owner of Boss Hoggs Restaurant, will also be leaving the board. Steve has been a huge supporter of events, representative on many various subcommittees and also a great volunteer. Todd Starr, county attorney, will be leaving the board after filling in for a one-year term. Todd, in just one short year, has contributed his keen insight and sense of humor to the organization. Every year, three members go off the board and three come on the board, keeping ideas at the Chamber fresh, forward thinking and representative of the business community.

It is important that you, as a member, take the time to vote for three of the six candidates. Read their biographies and discover what each candidate could contribute to the board of directors. We appreciate the candidates taking the time to run for director positions and we thank all of them in advance for their commitment to this organization.

You can vote at the Chamber from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, after which time you can vote at the annual meeting. The meeting/celebration will be held at the Pagosa Lodge beginning at 6 p.m. A silent auction, extensive prime rib dinner buffet, cash bar, door prizes, awards ceremony and dancing to the live music of Groove Kitchen will complete the nonstop, action-filled evening.

Come and meet some new business owners and enjoy all the activities. Meeting participants will also be able to walk away with gift coupons from numerous businesses, giving them tremendous savings in the upcoming months. Tickets may be purchased at the Chamber until Friday for $35, and then at the door for $40. Tickets may also be reserved over the phone with a credit card by calling 264-2360.

We look forward to honoring several citizens at the award portion of the meeting and announcing some exciting projects planned by the Chamber for the businesses in 2011. Don’t miss the fun as we kick off another year and as we celebrate 35 years of serving the business community in Pagosa.

Attention all non-profit organizations

On Wednesday, Jan. 26 the Pagosa Area Non-Profit Organization (PANPO) will host an open house for all non-profit agencies. This includes service, education, religious and governmental agencies. The purpose of the open house is to gather the non-profit organizations and start a conversation on how agencies can better share resources and funding sources, become more streamlined, disseminate information better and, in general, work better together.

Prompted by the Rural Philanthropy Days held last June in Mancos, many non-profit agencies saw the effects that better collaboration could bring to each of their agencies. Pagosa Springs is also considering vying to host the 2014 Rural Philanthropy Days. If we are to position ourselves to be the host, we must also work closer together and have a stronger collaborative agency effort.

The open house will be held at the Pagosa Center for the Arts (located on U.S. 160) on Jan. 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. We encourage at least one representative from every agency to join us in an evening of stimulating conversation and appetizers. Questions about the evening can be directed to Mary Jo Coulehan at 264-2360 or Julie Simmons at 264-6950. Find out how we can accomplish more as we learn to stop working as islands!

Events, events and more events

Early in the year there are a lot of events and fundraisers being held in the community. On Feb. 12, come out and support a fundraiser for Pagosa Mountain Hospital at the Heart Beat Ball. The event will be held at the Pagosa Lodge and will include hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, silent auction, live auction, a DJ and dancing. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Tickets are available by calling Tari Woods at 731-8877 and are also at the hospital, Bank of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans, both Citizen Banks and Rio Grande Savings & Loan.

On Thursday, Feb. 17, Hospice of Mercy brings the community their 7th annual Soup for the Soul dinner at the Ross Aragon Community Center. Soups, stews, breads and desserts are donated by restaurants from around the community to benefit the Hospice of Mercy. There will be a silent auction of works of art by many local artists, as well as live music. Tickets are available at the Chamber for $25.

On Saturday, Feb. 19, the morning Rotary Club brings you the WinterFest Rotary Follies. Enjoy an evening where local talent roasts all that is and goes on in Pagosa in good humor and fun. There will be two shows that evening: 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre. Tickets in advance are $15 each or $25 per couple, and $20 each or $30 per couple the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased at the Chamber, Moonlight Books, Pagosa Brewing, American Family Insurance and the Bank of Colorado.

On Thursday, Feb. 24, the Chamber will be hosting a 4-5-hour seminar: Starting Your Business. This class will be put on in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center and will cover some accounting, business and licensing information, marketing, business plans and banking and financial information.

On Saturday, Feb. 26, the noon Rotary Club will bring you Casino Night in a Mardi Gras Ball environment. The event will include a fun night of cards, roulette and craps, all being enjoyed with lots of “play” money that comes with your ticket purchase. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with plenty of food, a cash bar and lots of casino games. Tickets will be available soon.

On Saturday, March 5, from 5 -8 p.m., Seeds of Learning will present the “Little Black Dress Affair — the Animal Within.” Elegant appetizers by Alley House Grille will be served along with a cash bar. There will be a fashion show highlighting Goodman’s Department Store and Little Weedz Dresses that Grow. Tickets are $40 and are available at Seeds of Learning and Switchback Mountain Wear.

On Saturday, April 2, in preparation for the summer Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters national show to be held here in Pagosa July 27-Aug. 7, there will be a fund-raiser celebrating a night on Broadway. “Something Different” will be held at the Pagosa Lodge from 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person or $75 per couple and include a prime rib buffet dinner, live entertainment, a silent and live auction, door prizes and lots of fun on Broadway. All the proceeds will go toward putting on this event in late July. For tickets, call Wild Spirit Gallery at 264-9453 or the Community Development Corporation at 731-1443.

We celebrate all these organizations and the efforts they are making to raise funds while giving people in the community an evening of fun. For more information about these or other events that are scheduled, please check out the Chamber website at

Membership News

The New Year has been good to the Chamber, as we have an abundant amount of renewals this week. We also have one new business to welcome to the Chamber. The new Asian cuisine restaurant on the east end of town, Ajia, joins the Chamber.

We kick off our renewals with one of Pagosa’s oldest Chamber members — Goodman’s Department Store. Pagosa Ski and Snowboard Rentals with Matt Yoksh renews for another season.

Another much newer retail store is Bull Chic. Our lodging properties include longtime members The First Inn of Pagosa, Elk Meadows River Resort, Elkwood Manor Luxury Bed and Breakfast, and Floyd and Stella’s vacation rental home

Also renewing are Fanas Architecture, the JoAnn Laird Group, Mountain West Insurance, Coin Crafters and Engravers and Judy James with Four Seasons Land Company.

We have a name change for the Mountain Heights Baptist Church. You can find them under the CrossRoad Christian Fellowship. Our service organizations include the Pagosa Fire Protection District and the Kiwanis Club.

Getting ready for their event over the Memorial Day Weekend, we have the Fiber Festival renewing their membership. From out of the area we welcome back the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, the Flexible Flyers out of Durango, Durango Credit and Collection, and Certified Folder Display. Finally, we welcome back our friend of the Chamber and Visitor Center volunteer, Jean Sanft.

We look forward to Saturday, Jan. 22 and seeing old and new businesses in attendance for a night of fun, awards and great opportunities. Questions on the annual meeting can be directed to the Chamber at 264-2360.