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February 2012 Chamber Board Meeting

February 29, 2012 - Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce
The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce had its regularly scheduled board meeting this morning and as usual there is a lot happening in and around Wetzel County. Evan Newman is a new student board member from Magnolia High School. He will represent some of our youth by serving on the board for 3 months. Evan is a senior at Magnolia and involved in many clubs and organizations. Minerva Evans, chairperson for the Membership Committee, stated that we are also looking for another student board member from Paden City High School and hope to have him/her present at the March meeting. The Valued Resource committee is gearing up for the awards dinner. This event will be chaired by Jae C. Lehew. The nomination forms are on the chamber website at or you can visit the chamber office. The awards dinner is scheduled for April 26th. If you know a deserving member of our county that you would like to see recognized, please take the time to fill out a nomination form. The Chamber office has been getting requests from community members who have rental property available to send them leads since we get many requests from individuals who are looking for housing. As an additional service, the office now has a book listing available rentals and contact information. If you have any housing available for rent you are more than welcome to notify the chamber office at 304-455-3825. Eventually, we hope to have a community bulletin board installed. Three new board members were inducted this morning - Daniel Witschey, Matt Quinett, and Brian Felici. Welcome and thank you for your dedication to making Wetzel County the best it can be. Two other board members had their terms extended - thanks also to Tom Casey and Janey Longwell for recommitting to the cause! Tom Myslinksy, our Vista volunteer, made a presentation to the entire board concerning our latest initiative: Grow Local Go Local. There are currently 120 volunteers signed up to help with this initiative and that are interested in helping the economic growth in Wetzel County via the local food movement. There are several reasons to support this initiative only one of which is the economy. Currently, 90% of the food consumed is imported. If we would increase our consumption of local food by 10%, it would have a 462 million dollar impact in economic growth. 36% of our children are obese ranking WV 3rd in the nation. Fresh produce and proteins are much more nutritious as well as delicious! Another health benefit is a secure food supply, knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown. Our food currently is imported from 1200 miles away (or more) so local food use would also help reduce fossil fuel use. Another component of this initiative is education - from canning and cooking to the actual knowledge needed to grow produce in small plots. Local farmers markets are being planned utilizing 4 to 6 local, regional producers. The "where" and "when" factors are yet to be determined and will be decided by the producers themselves. The first thing you will see come to fruition are the raised planting beds at some of the Senior Centers in Wetzel County. Ergonomic tools will be provided to assist those who might be suffering from arthritis or similar limiting factors. The goal is for the seniors not only to be able to once again take part in an activity they love, but to teach others the skills we need to continue in small farming. How can you help? Volunteer by adding your name to the database available on the chamber website or calling the chamber at 304-455-3825. I learned a new term today - service learning. When we serve, we always learn also. Don't you love it? You can also buy local first whenever possible. Deanna at Presto's stated that their restaurant utilizes the produce available at the farmer's market on Main St. on Saturday mornings. And that's something else you can do - talk it up. Let your local grocers and restaurants know you would like to see more local produce and proteins available and shop those who do. Make a commitment to economic development in Wetzel County and give us your input by joining our brainstorming session on March 17th at WVNCC, room 110 at 7PM as we discuss this in further detail. The Economic Growth committee tabled their regular meeting to hear presentations from IOGA and the ACT Foundation in an informational session concerning local natural gas production and the work force. WVNCC is currently training their second class of 25 students to help them secure jobs locally. The first class had 18 students and was a complete success. Riverfront Development reported that the Festival of Memories will be held on July 21st and they plan to condense the event with an afternoon start instead of a morning start. They have already secured an African acrobatic troop and and Impersonation act for our entertainment. Much more will be announced later but save the date. The last little bit of news was that the Magnolia Yacht Club has been sold. No details were given as to the new owner's plans only the fact that it would retain its name. And that's a very good thing. If you have any questions or comments you can reach me at the email address given above. And if you are available on the last Wednesday of the month at 8am please join us at WVNCC in room 110. Sandy


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