By Linda Kor
The Holbrook Chamber of Commerce met Sept. 26 to discuss upcoming events.
Fall brings several activities for Holbrook as the chamber prepares for events such as the upcoming Fall Flavor, set to take place on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Parish Family Center. The event not only includes food provided by the various eateries in town, but also live and silent auctions to benefit the chamber, as well as a desert auction to benefit the Hol-brook Regional Arts Alliance (HRAA). In preparation for the event, the chamber is seeking for auction items that can be contributed by local businesses or individuals. Lorraine Lucero Gonzales, with Pioneer Title in Winslow, regularly at-tends the chamber meetings and her company has contributed 50 auction paddles for the event at no cost.
On the day following the Fall Flavor, the chamber will be hosting a kids’ carnival for the community at Hunt Park. This event will provide games, prizes and fun for the young children in the community. Other events taking place that day will be the HRAA Art Walk, also in Hunt Park. This event is open to all artists free of charge and will include all venues, including the musical and visual arts.
In addition, a softball tournament will also be held on Oct. 27 on the softball field at Hunt Park. The sign-up is normally $150, per team but this year the cost is just $100 as long as each team member brings two bags of candy to donate to the annual Spooktacular. The top three teams will be awarded trophies and T- shirts. For more information, contact Alex Baldonado at 241-0826. All funds from the tournament go toward scholarships for Holbrook High School gradu-ates.
Baldonado also informed the board that the H.E.L.P Coalition, in conjunction with the Elks Lodge, would once again be holding Spooktacular on Oct. 31 at the Elks Lodge. The event includes games, prizes and candy for young trick-or-treaters, and has continued to grow each year.
To help make the most of the Halloween spirit, ghostly tours will be held once again at the historic Navajo County Courthouse. The Petrified Forest Museum Association will be taking visitors on an informative nighttime tour of the courthouse with stories of the history of the building and the lost souls that are said to still be there. Those tours will be held the last week of October, with dates and times to be announced soon.
Chris Olthouse addressed the chamber board on behalf of HRAA, stating that the organization hopes to host the Brigham Young University Ballet in March. “The LDS church is willing to house and feed the dancers, but we will need to raise funds for the cost of the performance, which is $5,000,” explained Olthouse, adding that those funds will be sought through fundraising endeavors of the group.
In other business, the chamber board decided to remove for consideration a stipend offer of $1,200 for an event co-ordinator for Holbrook’s annual Wild West Days celebration. The board had been discussing whether to offer the stipend to Emily Wheeler, who has organized the event for the past several years. Wheeler recently informed the board that while she would be working to coordinate the barbecue competition for the event, she would no longer be overseeing the entire program. The city’s special events coordinator, Teri Walker, informed the board that she would oversee the event and would rely on volunteers to assist as needed.
City Councilman Richard Peterson attended the meeting to present the board with an idea to help promote Holbrook and provide visitors with more to do when they come to the community.
Peterson takes part in a volkssport association, which has affiliates throughout the world and consists of a non-competitive personal fitness sports and recreation program. His suggestion was to create a walking tour of a significant distance that members could take part in and mark off in a passbook to earn an emblem of completion.
“There are over 50,000 participants throughout the country. It would be one more reason to come here, stay longer and take in more sights,” stated Peterson. A walking tour, such as an expansion of the one already in place in Holbrook’s historic district, would need to be planned and an event date scheduled. The event would be posted on the volkssport website to encourage anyone visiting the site to take part in the walk and receive a badge of completion.
“You don’t need to belong to the group to take the walk, but you can obtain a passbook and as they walk, run or bike the course, they can keep track of their journeys and get their passbook stamped at local participating restaurants or stores,” explained Peterson.
The board agreed that this would be one more way that Holbrook could be a destination spot and put the item on the next meeting’s agenda for consideration.
Walker addressed the chamber on behalf of the Holbrook Business Development Group regarding its discussion for an upcoming job fair that would take place in conjunction with Northland Pioneer College and the Holbrook School District. “This will be taking place in time for potash development and the development of the Pioneer project in Winslow,” she stated.
Walker explained that the job fair would include employers and industry representatives who would inform participants of what education skills and certifications will be required to work in those work environments.
“This event will also include workshops on resume building, interview skills and other information needed to obtain these jobs,” she added.
Another event in the works for HBDG working with the chamber will be to host a forum for local businesses that will provide information on what other business needs will rise as these industries develop, such as heavy equipment providers, mechanics and catering.
“The objective is to provide this information to existing businesses first so that they can decide if they want to take a piece of that pie before we go out and look for businesses elsewhere to come in,” stated Walker.
The dates for both of these events have yet to be decided.
In other business, the board approved renewal of a letter of agreement with Neal Ranstrom regarding services, to include membership billing. The recommendation was for a three-month trial basis to determine the most effective use of services for the cost.
“With the new Chamber Team system in place we may find that it will be easier and more cost effective to handle membership in-house,” stated Walker, who also works as the chamber director.
The next board meeting will be held at 12 noon on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the council chambers at city hall, 465 First Ave.
By Linda Kor