Various local representatives boarded the Little Sorrel on the waters of Stonewall Jackson State Park last Thursday for an evening of networking opportunities.
Dubbed the Collaborative Cruise, the event was sponsored and organized through the teamwork of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, Weston Rotary Club, Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, Stonewall Resort, and Auctioneer Alden Butcher.
“This event is a nice opportunity to showcase Stonewall Resort, Little Sorrel, and local musical talent while enjoying a time of fellowship and strengthen our community through sharing information,” said Sherry Rogers, the executive director of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce. Because of its sponsorship, the cruise was free to all participants.
The cruise was designated to be a fun event for local civic organizations and businesses, with appetizers provided.
This was the second year for the cruise, but its format was changed from the inaugural event. Last year, every business and organization represented on the cruise were given an opportunity to speak about their goals, progress, services and goods.
However, instead of using that format again this year, organizers set it up so that attendees can freely network, converse and share ideas with one another.
“The best part of the cruise is being in a relaxed social environment, where you get to know people you hear about, but don’t normally encounter,” said Jane Lew Mayor Ruth Straley. ““It” also provides access to dignitaries in a place where you can have a relaxed conversation or ask a question that has been bothering you.
““It” also allows someone like me to promote my town and encourage businesses to be interested in moving or setting up a new business in the town. “It”’s just a great atmosphere, with plenty of time to socialize,” she continued.
Guests departed on the waters, with musical entertainment provided by Dustin McCray. Throughout the evening, many participants commented on his musical talents.
Attendees were encouraged to bring business cards, brochures, and handouts for distribution at the event.
Several guests commented on what a wonderful opportunity it was to get together and share their contact information and tell others what they are available to do for them.
The event was attended by state, county and town government representatives, as well as leaders of various community organizations within, and outside of, Lewis County.
Organizers of the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash used the opportunity to sell raffle tickets as a fundraiser for their event, which will return to Lewis County next year.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the Chamber cruise again this year, and were pleased to have the opportunity to talk to many who attended this year’s BBQ Bash, and network with several new contacts who expressed an interest in becoming more involved as a volunteer and/or sponsor,” expressed Jody Light, an organizer of the BBQ Bash.
““It” was a nice, relaxing evening to chat with fellow chamber members and others in the community, all who were very complimentary about this year’s event, and excited for 2018.”