Archive for November, 2009

Spaghetti Dinner Benefits Humane Society

The Venango County Humane Society will be having a spaghetti dinner on Thursday December 3rd from 6-8 pm at the Oil City Moose Club located on Halyday Run Rd.  Tickets are available in advance by contacting Carol Gustafson at 814-676-8877 or at the door.  Tickets are $8.00  for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.  Dinner, salad, drinks and dessert will be offered.  In addition to dinner, there will be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction.  All funds raised will be used to help build the new shelter on Rt 322 this summer.

Stuff Your Stocking Event Planned

Oil City’s Southside Business Association has scheduled their third annual Stuff Your Stocking Christmas customer appreciation event.  On Friday December 11th, from 5-7pm, children are invited to bring their empty stockings downtown to the area’s businesses and have them stuffed with goodies.  There will be door prizes, family entertainment and pictures with Santa.   For more information please contact Amanda Hippenstiel at 814-673-5601.

Technically Speaking

2009 has definitely been the year of technology for the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, beginning with the new website launch in March, a new email service in April and our venture into the world of social media. While many of our members have embraced these new tools for doing business, others remain skeptical as to the real benefits of the “online” world.  I think it is important to note that here at the chamber we still believe that nothing replaces the value of face to face interaction with chamber and community members. That’s why you’ve continued to see the same tried and true publications and events from the past. We will continue to make the newsletter available in hard copy and invite members to attend mixers, lunches and other member gatherings.

Why such an investment in technology? Because this continues to be a terrific way to engage many of our members, expand our network and increase our efficiency. And most importantly we are passing everything we learn onto our members. In 2010 we will continue to enhance our website, with the addition of e commerce and feature to further promote our members. The Brown Bag lunch series will continue with the broader theme of technology. The first one of the year, Wednesday, January 20th will a presentation about the new Windows 7.

Through the Microsoft® Community Connections program, our technology partner CS Technologies Plus will present a 45-60 minute program how Windows 7 can help leaders and organizations enhance their business relationships.  Depending on the level of interest, additional sessions may be added in the morning and afternoon. So mark your calendar and watch for more information in the January Business Connector.

Where’s Your Third Place?

The Bridge Builders Community Foundation hosted an excellent event yesterday. Along with representatives from non-profit representatives from Venango and surrounding counties, I attended the Wealth Transfer Symposium at Seneca Hills Bible Conference. The basis for the conference was a presentation by  Barry Denk, Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania about the projected Transfer of Wealth in Pennsylvania that is projected over the next 50 years and the potential impact this has on our communities. You can read the report.

There was an abundance of interesting and useful information shared by Barry and other presenters. The challenge posed to all was how you will build the relationships in your community that will move people to include your organization in their planned giving, now and in the future. This is definitely not a “cold call” approach.

I was particularly interested in comments made in the afternoon presentation by Larry E. Haynes, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania & Eastern Ohio. Larry talked about our “Third Place”.  For most people, your first place is home and your second place is work.  Defining your third place may be very telling as to what could motivate your giving. Your third place my be an actual place, like your church, library,service organization or recreational facility.

Your friends and family will look for you at this place if you’re not at home or work.  A community may benefit from establishing where there are third places throughout the community and using these as a focus for development on programming and funding.  It may be worth considering if your organization serves as a third place?

Here’s an interesting video project by Rapid Growth that asks “Where’s Your Third Place?”