Chamber Corner

Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Terry will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

Western New Mexico University has actually had four different names since it was founded in the Territory of New Mexico on February 11, 1893. It was originally the New Mexico Normal School. In the 1920's, the name changed to New Mexico State Teachers' College. It then became Western New Mexico College… and in 1963 the name was changed to Western New Mexico University. In 125 years, there have been only fifteen presidents of WNMU.

This makes one wonder if there was originally a New Mexico Abnormal School? Hmmm?

The answer to this question is usually different depending on who you ask. If you ask the folks at the local Pizza Hut, they will probably say "yes." Someone busted two of their windows Monday night. If you ask a family on North Grandview Road that lost thousands of dollars of property during a break-in of their home. They will probably say "yes." I know a family from Santa Clara that was burglarized… "yep" definitely. Yet, there are some people in our community, even within law enforcement and the justice system, that don't seem to believe crime is much of a problem.

Each week I receive at least one call from some person in a distant state who is thinking about moving here… but they have read in some publication or some internet site about how our crime statistics are higher than the national average. Some of the retirement sites talk about how the weather in New Mexico is excellent. They go on to mention that the cost of living is pretty good compared to other areas of the country. Then we, New Mexico, take a hit because our taxes seem higher than states in the South and mid-west. And then boom… crime places us at the top of the worst list. It nice to be #1 or #2… but not on the worst crime rate list.

If you didn’t make it to the 1st Annual Silver City Wine Festival, you missed out. We had a great time putting on the event, and it seemed like most of the people attending and working the event enjoyed it as well. But as usual, there are always a few people that just have to try to come up with something negative.

One person said it would have been better outdoors. Really? During the monsoon season? That person sipped too many wines. I also got a kick out of the person who said since he bought a bottle of wine, he should get some of his entrance fee back. Give me a break. You pay $20 to get in the door. You have from Noon to 6:00 p.m. to taste wine from eleven different wineries. Where else around here can you sip wine for six solid hours for only $20.00? Good grief…

We hope to bring a second annual Silver City Wine Festival back to Grant County next year. As soon as that decision is made, we will share with you the dates of the event.

Thinking of all the projects and programs the Chamber of Commerce is involved with, Independence Day has to be my favorite. The July 4th Celebration takes a lot of planning, there is a whole lot of work that has to be done, the hours are terrible… yet, the results are fantastic. This community comes alive when we celebrate patriotism. Each year there are always things that happen that will stick in my memory. The biggest thrill I get is seeing all the smiles. People, young and old, smiling as the parade goes by. A little boy smiling with buttery juice all around his mouth from eating the roasted corn on the cob. The folks smiling as they dance near the gazebo during the live music. And something that always moves me, when everyone in the park stops to watch the raising of the flag and the singing of the national anthem. These are the things that make all the effort worth-while. We at the Chamber of Commerce hope you are enjoying the Silver City celebration.

By this time next week, we will be celebrating the Independence of our great Nation. Wow…. Can you imagine what was going through the minds of the Founding Fathers as they debated and argued and eventually agreed upon our Declaration of Independence. Those people who wanted to remain under the laws of the British labeled the framers of the Declaration of Independence as traitors. These men, no… these brave men could have faced death due to forging our declaration of freedom from British Rule.

You see, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence we were no longer in the middle of the American "rebellion" against Great Britain… but we were beginning a "revolution" against Great Britain. On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress approved the resolution by Richard Henry Lee from Virginia that "these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved." To the British, this was a revolutionary statement.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines HOSPITALITY as hospitable treatment, reception, or disposition. The activity or business of providing services to guests.

Whether we are inviting people to visit the Grant County area to share the weather, the sites, or the way of life that we enjoy… we should always try to be hospitable and friendly toward them. Rather than asking "Why on Earth would you come here?", we should be saying "Thank you for choosing to visit southwest New Mexico!".

Each year the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce hosts the Silver City 4th of July Celebration. This year is no different from the past several years. The holiday will be held on Wednesday – July 4. A majority of downtown activities will take place at Gough Park, located at 1200 North Pope Street in Silver City, New Mexico.

The theme this year is "Uncle Sam Wants You _______." You get to fill in the blank. At the Chamber of Commerce, we say "Uncle Sam Wants You to have fun!" It should be interesting to see the variety of sayings that groups will come up with for the holiday celebration.

The mission of the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce is to serve our members by promoting business, commerce, and tourism in Grant County.

I'm dumbfounded when a person gets upset that the Chamber of Commerce can't help with an issue that involves a business that isn't a chamber member… and sometimes we have never even heard of the business. First and foremost, we are in business to serve our Chamber of Commerce business members. If you are not a member of the Chamber of Commerce, don't expect the Chamber office to work miracles for you. Oh, and by the way, if you are a member… don't expect miracles. There's a higher authority that does that kind of work and you don't have to pay him an annual membership fee.

Live from Silver City

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