Travel to Iceland Next Summer with the Tillamook Chamber

Travel to Iceland Next Summer with the Tillamook Chamber
By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Next August the Tillamook Chamber is excited to host a 6-day trip to Iceland to explore the rugged scenery full of glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and mountains painted with striking color patterns. If you’ve heard Iceland is “other worldly” then now is your chance to see it for yourself!

During our trip we will enjoy four nights in hand-picked hotels, and four sightseeing tours with expert, local tour guides. We will spend our first full day in historic Reykjavik, often called “the greenest city on Earth” and visit its Old Town Center, Parliament House, and modern City Hall among other stops.

Then, after getting a feel for city life we will head out to the Golden Circle, a ring of some of Iceland’s most magnificent natural wonders – including one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. During our second day exploring the natural beauty of the area we will also be treated to lunch at Fridheimar Farm, where fresh produce is grown in a greenhouse heated by geothermal energy.

If that wasn’t enough, the third day we will embark on an excursion to the South Coast to enjoy views of lush farmland, striking waterfalls, beaches, glaciers, and picturesque villages. We will have the opportunity to stand behind the impressive Seljalandsfoss waterfall, view the majestic Eyjafjallajökull volcano, marvel at the beauty of the Sólheimajökull glacier, and walk on the black sands of the South Coast.

There is a lot to cover in only six days, but we have had several requests from community members for a shorter trip and Iceland was the perfect-sized destination to accommodate those requests. We also aimed for late summer so that parents and school staff who are normally so busy have an opportunity to join us for the first time. Not to mention the weather in August is supposed to be the best all year round!

If you’re ready to go, you can receive $100 off your trip when you book in the next 30 days. You can book online at www.grouptoursite.com/tours/icelandchamber or by calling 1-800-438-7672 and using our tour reference number: 70131970.

 Or, if you still need to talk it over come see me at the Chamber HQ and we can go over the details together. We will also be hosting an informational meeting at the Chamber on December 20th at 5:30 pm for interested travelers.

Community Foundation On The Move

Community Foundation On The Move
By Brooke Johnston
Development Director

As we head into the holiday season something I am extremely thankful for is to see a long-time dream of the Chamber become a reality. The Chamber had kicked around the idea of a Community Foundation for many years and I am so pleased to see it finally come to fruition.

Our Foundation board and staff team have been working hard to create a strategic plan that incorporates the feedback we received from several community input sessions held over the summer. While we are still fleshing out the programs, we know there are three main areas of focus for the next year: Being a community catalyst; leadership and convening, and bridging opportunities.

As a community catalyst, the Foundation will create cross-sector investments in order to build opportunities for innovation of programs and services in Tillamook. This could mean being able to take donations for people in times of crisis, or hosting long-term projects such as downtown beautification, revitalization, and place making. The possibilities, while not entirely endless, are much broader than what we can focus on as a Chamber because we can bring together the business community, nonprofit organizations, and individuals for projects that fall outside the scope of the Chamber’s mission. A good example of this is the Foundation recently agreed to be the fiscal agent for the Tillamook Junior High School’s trip to Washington DC because they didn’t have a way to process donations. Those are the kinds of connections – both big and small – that we are excited to create and be able to make a difference in the lives of our community members.

The Foundation will also focus on building relationships across the business and nonprofit and individuals in Tillamook so we can strategize and streamline efforts for anyone wanting to do a project or start a program.

Our third area of focus is on bridging opportunities. We have been doing a lot of work in this area recently with the Young Pros and will continue to build up the young workforce in Tillamook and prepare them to take on leadership roles and improve their professional lives. Another action item for this focus is to work on ways to make Tillamook more welcoming to people who are new to the area and offer networking opportunities.

I am excited to see where this goes as over the next 60 days, we will be applying for over $220,000 in grant funds from outside of our community to build this foundation to support the community. Anytime our community can get further ahead by pairing local investment with outside sources, we consider that a win.

If the community is your passion, please consider a year end tax-deducible donation to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation. Donations can be sent to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation at 208 Main Avenue, Tillamook, OR 97141. If you would like to know more about the foundation, give a call at 503-842-7525 or email brooke@tillamookchamber.org.

You Won’t Want to Miss Small Business Saturday (And that’s Gnome Joke)

You Won’t Want to Miss Small Business Saturday
(And that’s Gnome Joke)

By Justin Aufdermauer

This year Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26 – the Saturday after Thanksgiving. While we know those Black Friday deals can be a tempting way to jump start your holiday shopping, Small Business Saturday was created to remind you how important it is to spend some of that holiday budget locally.

Did you know that for every dollar you spend locally nearly 70 cents is reinvested back into the community? That means when you come out and support local businesses you are also supporting our kids, our seniors, and making Tillamook a more vibrant place to live, work and play. That feels good right?

Because we want to reward you for participating in Small Business Saturday, we are once again offering unlimited entries into our Shop Small Sweepstakes on Nov. 26 only. The Sweepstakes has been running since October and will continue through the end of the year as our way to encourage people to think local all season long. Every day of the Sweepstakes you can enter to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of $1,000 just by turning in your receipts from locally owned businesses.

In addition to unlimited Sweepstakes entries, the Chamber HQ will also be hosting a free hot cocoa bar between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. sponsored by Dutch Brothers. Pop in and grab yourself a warm, delicious drink before you head out and shop. We will also have free goodie bags for the first 60 kids who come see us!

If you participated last year during Small Business Saturday, you may recall several businesses were handing out cookie cutters with purchase. This year, we are partnering with 12 of our member businesses in downtown Tillamook to pass out holiday gnome ornaments. We will have a list of the participating businesses at the Chamber, and the first 20 paying customers will get a free gnome. Each business has a different gnome and if you shop at all 12 you will have a full set!

The best part is that with each gnome you receive you can enter to win a large Christmas basket. Just bring your gnome (or gnomes) back to the Chamber (we will give you until 4 p.m. on Monday) and be entered into the raffle for the Christmas basket. We will draw for a winner on Tuesday November 29th.

We look forward to seeing everyone who comes out to shop that day, and hope that together we can show our small business community how much we care about them and value what they do.

Nominations Are Open for the Annual Community Awards

Nominations Are Open for the Annual Community Awards
by Justin Aufdermauer

While others prepare for the holidays by planning their meals, or by putting up decorations, the Chamber team prepares by opening nominations for our Community Awards. Now that we are ready, ‘tis the season indeed!

Every year around this time, we open our online nomination form to recognize our community’s businesses, projects, and people in five different categories. Those nominations serve as the basis for the honorees at our annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January.

We have five categories: Business of the Year (10 employees or more); Small Business of the Year; Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible to be nominated.

Nominations can be made online at tillamookchamber.org/nominate. There is no limit to how many nominations you can submit, so you’re able to spread the love to all your favorite people, business, projects, and events. These nominations honor the who and what that make Tillamook a place worth living, by contributing to its longevity and growth, and are all greatly appreciated by the community.

Nominating a local restaurant, a thoughtful shop owner, a first responder, a beloved community event, or even a memorable community program is a great way to show the people involved in those businesses, projects, and programs how much you appreciate them. This is a great way to return the favor to anyone or any business that made you smile this last year. Though it might seem like a small gesture, your nomination acts as a huge “thank you” to your fellow community members who work tirelessly to provide us with goods, services, and events that enrich our lives and sustain our economy.

Nominations are due by December 9, so we have time for the selection committee to review applications and make their decisions. Our selection committee is made up of past years’ honorees and other community members, so we as the Chamber staff don’t choose the new award recipients. This truly is a chance for the community to recognize and honor the community!

You can choose to remain anonymous as a nominator if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation. And fortunately, because the banquet is scheduled after the holidays wrap up, we can all come together to celebrate our community as one!

Join us for the Downtown Trick or Treat

Downtown Trick or Treat, on Halloween, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Join us for the Downtown Trick or Treat
by Justin Aufdermauer

Goblins and ghouls, princesses and witches, parents and friends, are you ready for the annual Downtown Trick or Treat? There’s something special about bags full of candy, businesses decorating their window displays, and a community that celebrates together. That’s exactly what the Downtown Trick or Treat is for.

Last year, the Chamber successfully held its annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat with some minor modifications for state COVID regulations at the time. It was a highlight for the year, and we enjoyed seeing all the creative costumes the kiddos wore. This year, we’ll be in full swing with the downtown district’s participation as well as other key stops like Tillamook Bay Community College and City Hall.

Here’s how it will work: You’ll know which businesses are open for the event by checking their window for our flyer. Participating businesses will also set up a table or other means of handing out candy in front of their building. As you walk by, you can stop at each storefront to trick-or-treating and show off your costumes.

If your claws or ghostly feet don’t feel up for walking, or if you want to make sure that you make the most of your Halloween stops, the Tillamook County Transportation District will have its Halloween Trolley running from 3-6 p.m. They’ll be picking up at Tillamook PUD, the Pioneer Museum, and the YMCA. So, if those kiddos (or you) get tired, feel free to hop on board!

And don’t forget about the Monster Mash Bash at the Second Street Plaza. Courtesy of the Tillamook Revitalization Association, the Mash Bash will run from 3 – 8 p.m. and will feature a costume contest for both kiddos and parents, pumpkin carving, bowling, local vendors, and more! Stop while you trick or treat downtown, or pop in after.

We ask that all monsters, fairies, and parents who come out for treats practice patience while waiting to get their candy and don’t crowd any tables or businesses. There will be lots of kids out and about, so you may have to wait occasionally. I recommend using that time to admire other costumes, look at the window decorations from businesses, or practice saying “trick-or-treat” in the most frightening ways!

Trick-or-treating starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. rain, shine, or anything in between. Please note that not every business downtown will be participating, so just remember to look for our flyers in businesses’ windows and candy stations outside.

Of course, the Chamber will be participating as well! So don’t forget to stop by the Chamber HQ to see Brooke and grab some candy. Bring your monsters, princesses, goblins, and witches down to our annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat from 3 – 5 p.m. on October 31 for an evening full of fright and fun.

See you there… If you dare!