Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Brewster chamber discusses upcoming events, ideas to reach wider audience

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BREWSTER – A summary of the 16th annual Brewster Salmon that concluded three days earlier led the list of topics discussed at the regular monthly meeting of the Brewster Chamber of Commerce at 6 p.m. last Wednesday. See Brewster Salmon Derby scores a hit with big fish, big prizes, on page A1.

Okanogan County Commissioner candidate Aaron Kester of Tonasket, a former member of that city’s chamber, virtually sat in on the meeting.

The next major community event for the chamber is Halloween with Trick or Treat on Main Street and the costume contest. The pumpkin-carving contest hosted by the Senior Center is questionable this year. Center president Charlene Knox said attendance and participation has declined substantially since COVID shut everything down. Since then, getting numbers back up anywhere their previous level has been a challenge.

Attendance at the twice weekly senior lunches Tuesday and Friday has been “hit-and-miss” said Knox.

“Sometimes there’s only about six; sometimes we have 20,” Knox said.

The seniors’ weekly Tuesday morning Coffee and Conversation that begins at 9:30 a.m. drew 15 people to its debut gathering but is sparsely attended now.

“It’s a come-when-you-can, leave-when-you-must gathering,” Knox said.

A usually reliable activity has also delivered disappointing results.

“We tried Bingo,” said Knox. “We got prizes and stuff; we can’t do it for money, and it just doesn’t work. I don’t know what the problem is.”

Bingo is now a regular fixture at the nearby American Legion since July. Games are held at 6 p.m. every Thursday.

Small Business Saturday is scheduled for the third Saturday in November and will include the Best of the Best awards. The tree lighting in Legion Park will be part of the Christmas observance.

Kester joined a discussion with Brewster Chamber officials in an exchange of ideas to build membership and boost community participation, a doubled-barreled problem in many small cities in the county. Lack of participation convinced the Pateros Chamber to disband several years ago. Bridgeport’s Chamber has been reenergized by the leadership of the co-pastors of the Wellspring of Life Church, who also restored a weekly food distribution program.

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