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Bates: 2013 a good year for McHenry Chamber

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

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Another year has come and almost gone. We are glad to let you know that 2013 was a good year for your chamber. Events have been successful and membership has been steady. New board members have been selected and many of our events are well sponsored going into 2014.   

The McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met recently to develop new goals for 2014 for the organization. The purpose was to develop programs to encourage shopping at chamber members’ businesses and help them financially with a “Bright New Ideas” grant. In addition, the chamber board felt there needed to be more awareness of the chamber itself and its prominent role in the area.

Thus, the following goals were established. First, the Development of Chamber Foundation to raise money for “Bright New Idea Grants to members.” Fundraisers will be established to help member businesses with grants to improve their business. Fundraising will be done through member businesses willing to give a percentage of the sales on any given day to the foundation. The chamber, in turn, would drive traffic to the business. Second, the chamber wants to convey why patronizing chamber members is important to the community and other members. Third, the chamber wants to mentor new members and make certain member expectations are met through participation.

It is extremely important you see value through your membership with this chamber. We ask that if you find yourself not using any of our networking opportunities or marketing to drive business to your organization, please contact us so we can make this chamber work for you.

Start the new year right with “Do’s and Don’ts of Press Releases” with Cynthia Wolf of Wolf Wordsmithing. Wolf draws on her many years as a newsroom editor to provide business leaders with top-notch insider tips when it comes to generating positive press. It’s not just the how-to, but the who-to and the when-to that matters. Learn press-release writing basics and develop a nose for your business’ share-worthy news. The Brown Bag lunch is 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 8.

Kick off networking in 2014 by attending the Never Eat Alone Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Jan. 10 at Culvers. Never Eat Alone luncheons encourage busy members to network while eating lunch and supporting an area restaurant.

Ladies, join us for the WINGs lighthearted High Tea. Get new ideas about what looks best on different body types; how certain apparel accentuates our best features while other garments detract. Cultivate a new style as we enter 2014 to look our best. Featured is the finest from McHenry specialty stores modeled by our WINGs committee. The menu consists of dainty sandwiches, exotic scones, lemon curd, fruits and delicately delightful desserts. The High Tea event will start at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at the Shah Center. Register at

Mixers coming up include an event at BuddyZ Jan. 21 and the Men of Monday Night’s Mixer Jan. 28. The Men of Monday Night is designed to award all who participated in the Men of Monday Night Football raffle. All will have an opportunity to win a three-night trip to Mexico including airfare.

Mixers start at 5 p.m. Information about events be found at

• Kay Bates is executive director of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce. 

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