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Citizen, Volunteer of the Year finalists announced

For the first time, the Chamber is announcing the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year finalists in advance of the annual meeting.

These candidates were selected from the nominees submitted to the Chamber. The full slate of nominees will be announced at the annual meeting.

The finalists for the 2011 Volunteer of the Year are Roy Melius, Nikki Alley and James Dickhoff.

Finalists for the 2011 Citizen of the Year are Morgan Murri and Pagosa Outreach Connection (POC).

In addition to these awards, the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) will hand out its Green Business Leadership Award.

The Chamber’s annual meeting will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Pagosa Center for the Arts, beginning at 6 p.m.

The theme this year is “A Magical Evening,” and we intend for it to be so.

There are a few different things planned for this year’s celebration, but you’ll have to attend to see what they are. In addition to the awards, there is a scrumptious buffet dinner planned by Nello’s Bistro, including a dessert and coffee corner, a cash bar and a silent auction. We hope that people will stay and dance the night away to Tim Sullivan and the Narrow Gauge.

The businesses have been so generous in their donations so far this year with lodging and restaurant certificates, jewelry, gift certificates and even a leather recliner, among some other great services and items.

This is also an opportunity for Chamber member businesses to display a member-to-member coupon available to attendees at the annual meeting. This is a great time to promote your business during the slow months of the year and to engage the local community. Notify the Chamber if you still would like to donate an item or have your coupons available.

We also hope that friends and supporters of the award finalists will be on hand to cheer on the qualified candidates.

Tickets are available at the Chamber or online at for $40. There is limited seating.

Sewing jobs

The Chamber of Commerce is working with three different clothing and gift designers to try and produce some jobs and keep them here in Pagosa. The work is sewing. People interested in working with these designers will be evaluated to see if they have the skills needed to complete the projects. There will be two workshops offered: one on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 2-4 p.m., the other on Tuesday, Jan. 31 from 6-8 p.m. Workshops will be held at the Chamber of Commerce. All aspects of sewing will be needed from cutting and basic sewing to more advanced sewing. If you are interested in earning money, have your own sewing machine or appropriate tools for cutting fabric, would like to work from home, and would like to find out more information about piece-work sewing or a sewing network, call me at the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve a space. There is limited space available at each workshop. If you want to sew, you will need to bring your sewing machine and a sample of your work. We hope this opportunity results in jobs for Pagosans and possible manufacturing opportunities for our community in the near future.

Penguin Plunge, Toddy for the Body

Although snow came early this year and we’re a little dry now, there are still four weeks left to get more snow, and the Chamber is moving forward with WinterFest plans.

Two events that we know will happen are the third annual Penguin Plunge and the addition of the Hot Toddy for the Body Contest, both happening Sunday, Feb. 19. Registration forms are now available for both events.

Brave souls will plunge into the frigid San Juan River (approximately 30 degrees) to raise money for their favorite nonprofit, school or community project. It is $25 for the privilege of jumping into the river as well as getting a nifty swag bag. Participants will then obtain money and pledges that are collected and donated to the designated organization. It takes dedicated jumpers to brave the freezing waters. It is also not just stepping into the river or putting your toes in; it is a full body soak, with participants floating over Davey’s Wave. Participants will gather at the Chamber between 11-11:30 a.m. Spectators can view the plunge from the Riverwalk. Registration forms can be obtained online or at the Chamber and must be turned in by Friday, Feb. 17.

The first Hot Toddy for the Body contest will also take place Sunday, Feb. 19, on the Riverwalk. Professional and amateur categories are available for entry. Get your best warm drink or “hot toddy” and enter it into the contest. There is a $10 entry fee and you will need to provide one gallon of this beverage. People coming to view the Penguin Plunge can partake of the tasting beginning at 11:30 a.m. while they wait for the plungers. Tasting tickets will be available at the event.

Sun, rain or snow will not stop these two events that will be part of the WinterFest activities. Other events will be Soup for the Soul, kicking off WinterFest on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Ross Aragon Community Center. The weekend will also be filled with Nordic activities including fun races for kids, classic and skate ski races, and a mock paintgun biathlon race.

More information about all the Nordic events can be obtained by visiting Depending on Mother Nature, we will be announcing other events such as the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race, the Snowman Stomp Snowshoe Romp race and the Snow Sculpting Contest.

Stay tuned, but pick up your registration forms now for the Penguin Plunge and Hot Toddy contest.

Membership news

We welcome another new member to the Chamber this week: Precision Granite takes pride in creating and fabricating granite and stone surfaces for your home or office. Their granite and stone is of the highest quality so that your investment will last a lifetime and they can live up to their motto of the art of caring. Their showroom is in Greenbriar Plaza at 301 N. Pagosa Blvd. Stop by and see how they can upgrade your kitchen, bath or special room for you. You can also view their products at

Our renewals this week include The Malt Shoppe; Ajia Cuisine; Crossroad Christian Fellowship; the Pagosa Area Trails Council; and those active Archuleta Seniors. Don’t forget to purchase your senior card for great savings all over the community.

We look forward to seeing a lot of members or potential members at the annual meeting. There is still time to vote for Chamber Board of Director nominees. They include Nick Tallent, Chris Smith, Jeannie Sinkey, Kimberley Siler-Bradshaw, Stacy Boone and Sara Anderson. We wish all of our candidates good luck and will announce the three new members next week. Don’t forget to vote and come out for an evening of fun and information.

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