Chamber creates, supports community fun

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By Peggy Richards
Director of Events
Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce

The role of a chamber of commerce can be viewed as one of “product manager” for our communities. When someone considers a community a desirable place to live, work, visit or invest, it’s ultimately a decision about a complex product. Thinking about community in the same light as you would a product in the marketplace demands that the chamber assumes a leadership role in product development, product sales and service. We may not always be involved directly in sales, but all of us play key roles in product development.

“Around the country, chambers making the biggest impact — and having the greatest success — are those that actively work to improve the quality of their communities,” said Roy Williams, American Chamber of Commerce Executives Board chairman.

We, at the Dearborn Area Chamber, take these words, and thus our leadership role in making a difference in the community, very seriously. To that end, we have created and are involved in several exciting community development and business enhancing events and projects this summer.

Farmers and Artisans Market
Each Friday, through Oct. 18, the chamber once again offers a community farmers and artisans market behind Bryant Library. Over 25 vendors will be on site from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (new hours) to encourage the purchase of locally grown produce and craft items.

“Buying local keeps thousands of dollars per week in the community that is being served,” said Millie Judd, new market manager. Judd is also offering other ways to engage with the community via the market. The “pink cart” will collect produce and monetary donations to support First Step women’s shelter. There will also be an opportunity for charitable groups to participate in the market with educational displays periodically throughout the summer. Evening hours from 4 to 7 p.m. will be offered June 18, July 16 and Aug. 20.

Taste of Dearborn
On Wednesday, June 19, 24 Dearborn restaurants will open their doors (or distribute food samples at participant check-in, Bryant Library) to visitors and offer bites of delicious food and drinks specials.

As a chamber of commerce, we feel it’s important to bring visitors and residents right to the restaurants so they can experience what the business has to offer first hand.

Registration is $20 per person and includes a wristband for admittance and shuttle pick-up and drop-off. For a complete list of restaurants and to register, go to our website at www.dearbornareachamber.org.

Golf Clinic and Outing
Everyone knows that business happens on the golf course. The chamber offers a special free golf clinic to get you ready for the links from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 with experts from DMC Sports Medicine at Dearborn Hills Golf Course. On Friday, July 19 (9:30 a.m. shotgun), come out to our golf outing at the same location, sponsored by DMC Sports Medicine and other local businesses.

Meet the Candidate
There are several positions open for public office in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. Meet these candidates at a special After Hours with the Chamber on from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 30. Check our website for more details closer to this event.

Family Fun Day
On Tuesday, Aug. 6, the chamber combines community and business with Family Fun Day. Families start their day at Midway Entertainment on Van Born, travel around Dearborn Heights to visit participating businesses in a sort of scavenger hunt, then end up at Van Houten Splash Park for family fun, music, food and movie night. “This event encourages families to visit local shops and learn about all the area has to offer,” said Wendy Fichter, Small Business Development director. Cost is $10 per family for this day of community fun.

Special All-Stars Day/Classic Car Cruise
The Dearborn Homecoming festival is a huge local event that attracts thousands of visitors each August. These huge crowds are often daunting for our special needs community members. Therefore, the Chamber has created Special All-Stars Day from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 2. This free event gives these extraordinary children and adults an opportunity to ride the midway, have special treats like ice cream and play games in a safe and comfortable environment before the crowds descend on Ford Field.

“We wanted to offer a fun way to engage these angels,” said Renee Aloe, director of Membership. “This is a safe, fun environment for the community’s special all-stars.”

A Cruisin’ Dearborn car cruise and display is offered that evening on the parade ground for classic car buffs and visitors. Registration is $10. Come see 150 cruisers with classics from 1930 to 1980.

These are just a few of the ways that your chamber interacts with the thriving Dearborn and Dearborn Heights communities to make a difference. Check out our website at www.dearbornareachamber.org to register for events or learn more about these great offerings.

Have a safe, supportive and productive summer!