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Music on the Pond fundraiser highlights full slate of chamber activities


CEO Jamie Church says members hungry to socialize

FARMINGTON — Even though some COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and public gatherings remain in place, the president and CEO of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce says her organization has returned to organizing a full slate of events for its members.

Jamie Church said the chamber resumed its popular Business After Hours series on May 13 with an outdoor event at Four Corners Community Bank, which was the first event in the series since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The bank had been scheduled to play host to a Business After Hours event in spring 2020 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, but the prohibition on public gatherings caused its cancellation.

Church said the event was very well attended, and a second Business After Hours celebration already has been scheduled for July 1 at the Durango Joes Coffee location at 5100 E. Main St.

The organization has several other activities planned for June, highlighted by its Music by the Pond fundraiser set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 11, at the San Juan County Club.

The celebration of small businesses features a barbecue dinner, live music, a golf chipping contest and a 50/50 raffle. Sales for the event were limited to 200 tickets, and Church reported that it already had sold out by May 21.

"It's mostly an opportunity for us to thank chamber members who have stuck with us and to celebrate small businesses," she said.

The chamber's Redcoats will be holding six ribbon-cutting ceremonies in June for new businesses or existing businesses that are planning something new, Church said. The group also will hold a meeting on Monday, June 14 at the Inspired Moments Events Center in Farmington.

"It feels like things have gone from zero to 60 (mph) very quickly," Church said about the chamber's activities. "But I want to emphasize we are still paying attention to the all the social distancing requirements and restrictions. … We know some of our plans may have to be altered as we go."

She said it is clear there is a pent-up demand in Farmington for socialization opportunities, and Church said the chamber plans to play a big role in organizing those events.

"Everyone, I think, is really looking forward to us doing this," she said. "I hope all these events, especially if they're outside, will be well attended. There's a real appetite for them."

The chamber also will be bringing back its Professional Women's Summit later in the year, as well as its Chile in October contest at Berg Park. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Chile in October was held under a different format last year, with participants obtaining a "passport" that allowed them to sample creative products featuring chile from several local businesses.

If the pandemic continues to subside, the event will return to its normal one-day format this year, with restaurants from across the area competing for honors in such categories as red chile, green chile, home-style chile and salsa. The event also traditionally includes a beer garden and live music. It raises money for other chamber programs that take place throughout the year.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.