By Debbie Vandeberg
Havre Area Chamber of Commerce
Summer is here. Some refer to August as the dog days of summer, as the days are typically hot and the easiest way to get through the day is to lie in the shade of a tree. In looking at the calendar of chamber community events, there is really no time to lie in the shade, as there are many wonderful activities taking place.
The chamber hosted its seventh annual 3 on 3 Nothin' but Net basketball tournament. Fifty teams from as far as Lewistown and Wolf Point joined in the day of basketball. Thanks to the 70- plus volunteers - from referees to scorekeepers to those who helped throughout the day - you made the day another huge success. Also, thank you to the dedicated committee of DJ Baker, Dustin and Dane Kraske, Shad Huston and Brent Reber. Great job, team.
If you haven't already enjoyed Saturday Market, take a few minutes on Saturday morning between 9 a.m. and noon and explore the vendor stands at the Town Square. The market creates a great connection for the community, farmers, local gardeners and bakers, tourists and business. Markets encourage customers to support local artisans. They also encourage customers to spend money on locally produced goods, which keeps money in the community.
Wednesday will be the last day to enjoy the music of the Other Brothers Band at Town Square during the noon hour. Grab a lunch and meet a friend for a relaxing hour of music. Tunes at Noon is a great activity for our community and for travelers passing through. Tunes at Noon is the cornerstone to showcase our community's creativity. On behalf of the chamber and Mayor Bob Rice, we would like to thank Kirt Miller and members of the band for again providing a wonderful summertime event.
The Town Square Task Force is hosting a pitchfork fondue fundraiser on Aug. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. The purpose is to raise funds to reduce the debt the chamber has on the project. The balance owed is $29,000 out of a total project cost of $107,235. Tickets are on sale at the chamber or from a task force member for $20 a person. Task force members are Terry Schend, Dave Clausen, Garrett Edmonds, Rick Sedahl, Jennifer Kinsella, Debbie Headstrom, Tracy Job and Debbie Vandeberg.
Art on the Avenue, scheduled for Aug. 20, maintains its original goal of bringing talented people in the area together in a fun activity to celebrate art. Enjoy a variety of mediums between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Town Square, from sidewalk chalk art to crafts and paintings.
If that isn't enough going on, the chamber is in full swing with the planning of this year's 25th celebration of Havre Festival Days. Many of the traditional activities will take place the weekend of Sept. 16-18: the Friendship Barbecue at the Town Square on Sept. 16; the craft show, parade, quilt show and Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast on Sept 17; and the Fun Run/Walk on Sept. 18. Don't forget the 48-hour softball tournament that goes all weekend.
None of these events would take place without the dedication of many, many volunteers who, I am sure, will be happy to find the shade of a tree at some point during the month. I am grateful for the core of volunteers who are dedicated to the work of the chamber. Our community is blessed to have so many willing to take time to make great things happen.
Projects the chamber is busy working on include the Hi-Line event center project and the visitor/cultural center. A large group of community members is working on a conceptual project that has great potential for our community's future. This project started as an idea from a chamber board retreat and has grown into a very large partnership of the chamber, the city, the county, Bear Paw Development Corp. Montana State University-Northern, Havre Public Schools and many community businesses and individuals.
We continue to work with the Havre City Council on the development of a transient vendor license. We have partnered with several Alberta communities to explore the expansion of hours at the Wild Horse border crossing to 24 hours. We are working closely with the city of Havre and the Montana Department of Transportation on the First Street reconstruction project, which is scheduled to start in the spring of 2007.
Each of these projects is a result of partnerships. Through partnerships so much more can be accomplished. Those partnerships come as the result of leaders understanding the need for individuals to do more, but in concert with others.
Thank you, Havre, for being a great partner. It truly is the people.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.