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The Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce had many updates to announced during the October virtual meeting. Executive Director Terri Dennison introduced a new structure for memberships, upcoming events, and the Chamber’s award of $22,000 in grant funding.

“One of the reasons we want to have this meeting is we are about to have our new membership drive and our new structure for memberships,” explained Dennison. The board took into account that some business owners in the area own more than one business, and some sign up for multiple sponsorships.

The new Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce membership structure is less of an investment than in previous years. An individual wanting to support the Chamber’s efforts may join with a $50 membership. A business in operation for two years or less, a non-profit, government entities, and elected officials may participate with $125 membership. The most expensive membership fee is $250 and is for businesses in operation for two years or more. If a person, family, or corporation has more than one company, they may add each additional business to the Chamber’s membership role for an additional $125 per company.

Before Dennison became director of the Chamber, sponsorships for chamber events were collected at various times throughout the year. Now the Chamber is offering event-level sponsorships for members to include the White Lake Water Festival, the Sunset Jams Concert Series, the Fourth of July Fireworks at White Lake, and the Christmas in a Small Town. Sponsorship levels range from $300 up to $2,000.

The current chamber memberships were extended through the end of December due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The new membership structure will be in effect from January 1, 2021, until December 31, 2021.

Dennison announced in addition to the membership drive; the Chamber would be working with Keep Bladen Beautiful for a community workday at Harmony Hall.

Dennison said, “We thought it was very important to start helping this important historic asset.”

The reasons it is essential to help with the community workday, Dennison explained, is because helps build a piece of trail linked to the Mountian to the Sea Trail, and Harmony Hall is a historic asset.

During the meeting, Dennison announced the annual Christmas Parade has been canceled, however, there will be Christmas in a Small Town events.

Some of the festivities being planned for the Christmas season are as follows: Tour of Churches, Storefront Decorating Contest, Scavenger Hunt Amongst Merchants, Lighting of the Lake – Dock Decorating at White Lake, Santa at the Farmer’s Market (Sunday only), Christmas Tree Grove, Festival of Lights at Lu Mil Vineyard.

Dennison said Santa would be at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday, riding a Firetruck. The truck will park and allow children to stand in front of Santa to allow photos to be taken while still practicing social distancing.

Before closing the meeting, Dennison announced the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce received two promotional grants for a combined total of $22,000. The grants are through VISIT NC and is to support COVID and business recovery promotions and is to be used by December 30, 2020.

For more information on Chamber membership, call the Chamber office at 910-862-4368 or visit: https://elizabethtownwhitelake.com/.