Fayette Area Chamber update 2011.10.19

Written by David Green.

Under the leadership of president Trevor Hibbard, the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce has plotted a new course of action that focuses on strengthening Fayette’s public image, cementing ties with current members and developing strategies that shore up the local economy by encouraging expanded community cooperation. 

Hibbard, a plant supervisor and owner of Hibbard’s Excavating in Fayette, knows that in fragile economic times, cooperation and collaboration count when it comes to ensuring the economic vitality of a community. That is especially true in Ohio’s rural villages that are non-governmental centers.

“I just want to see that those who have made real investments in this community continue to grow and prosper,” Hibbard said.

He points to recent meetings at local business locations as an effort to focus the Chamber’s attention on innovative local investment. Those meetings have taken place at Cork’s Winery, R & H Restaurant, Kaiser’s Market, and Fayette Floral & Gifts. This month’s meeting is scheduled Thursday at 4-H Camp Palmer.

Mayor Ruth Marlatt, long-time Chamber member who serves as vice president of the organization, noted that Fayette’s Main Street is populated by locally-owned businesses that employ well over a hundred full and part-time employees.

She pointed out that while not all of those businesses hold membership in the organization, the Chamber represents all who care about the village and its surrounding agricultural areas.

Marlatt is described as an outspoken advocate for the village and believes that Fayette is well served by the businesses and individuals who have invested their “time, talent and treasures” to make the community a better place to live.

“Fayette has a history of working together,” Marlatt said, “from early efforts to locate industries to the community, to its support of the pool, opera house, and its many festivals, community benefits and activities, Fayette has always stretched limited resources to meet needs.”

Chamber’s evolution

The Fayette Chamber’s roots reach back to the early 1960s when a group of civic leaders formed the Fayette Betterment Committee.

Following its successful role in welcoming Fayette Tubular Products to Fayette, the Betterment group then focused on the coordination of the community’s event calendar. For nearly two decades it became the collective voice of the community.

In the mid-1970s, the Fayette Merchant’s Association was organized to stimulate commercial activity on Main Street. This body of merchants banded together to create many promotional events; most notable was the Friday Night Raffle.

The Chamber formed in the early 1990s to create an umbrella that included not only service organizations, interested individuals, merchants and agricultural interests, but also industrial representatives. This attempt to involve the corporations that called Fayette “home” was in recognition of the vital role they played in creating the economic foundation of the village.

Fall/Winter calendar

With the Bull Thistle Arts Festival, Music Fest and Fall Fest under its belt, the Chamber will turn its attention to the activities of the final quarter.

CITIZEN—On Oct. 27, the Chamber will celebrate the 2011 Citizen of the Year with the recognition of Superintendent of Fayette Schools, Russ Griggs.

HALLOWEEN—On the following Monday, Oct. 31, the Chamber and its member organizations will support Fayette’s annual Halloween festivities. This local tradition reaches back over a hundred years and is in keeping with the Chamber’s “Betterment Tradition” of serving as catalyst for community involvement.

The Fayette Area Chamber, along with the Fayette Lion’s Club and the Gorham Fayette Fire Department, will collaborate to ensure another memorable “Trick or Treat” evening.

CHRISTMAS—Planning continues for  “Christmas in Fayette, 2011.” This year’s efforts will include live entertainment, a “Village Lighting” event and the “Family Christmas Film and Raffle.” As details are complete, those activities will appear in local news outlets.

Until that time the Fayette Chamber urges all to shop Fayette, support Fayette and as always, buy local whenever possible.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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