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From the Desk of the CEO Jill Raycroft

The season has changed and it's starting to feel a lot like winter!!  And the festive season begins...  with a night out at the Stirling Festival Theatre for a mingle this Thursday!  Join us there from 5-7 pm for a tour of the theatre and a quick preview of this year's panto - The Princess & The Pea - if you've not been, this is a perfect opportunity to see what a small community theatre has to offer!  And there's the Downtown Tree lighting as well at 5:30 pm...  And the Christmas Lighting at the Pier on Friday night (5:45 pm) - the United Way's Bootlegger's Bash at Signal on Saturday (if you're not quite into the Christmas spirit yet but feeling like giving back - you should go!) 

And f course, we're all gearing up for the Santa Claus Parade this Sunday - leaving from the Fairgrounds at 4:30 - coming east along Bridge St. and turning onto Front St - through the Downtown and then turning left to end at the Belleville Funeral home (there will be no public viewing areas after this point).  If it's too cold to watch outside, Cogeco YourTV is filming the action with our hosts Paul Ferguson (Starboard Communications) and Ashley Rushnell (A1 Limousine & Rushnell Family Services).  We have over 70 floats again this year and lots of music!!  Rumour has it the music is what a parade is all about - so we've added more bands this year!  Of course, we have Gleaners at the front with their volunteers collecting for the Food Bank and the Firefighters accepting toys for the Toy Drive...  both worthy ways of showing your community you care at this time of year.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the newsletter going through all the upcoming events but I do want to draw your attention to one last thing - and your opportunity to help us celebrate each other.  Our President's Dinner is coming up on February 8 and we're going to continue the tradition of the Lifetime & Cornerstone Awards - and the Board would appreciate your help!  If you know a Chamber member who should be acknowledged as a Visionary, a Mentor, a Founder or for their Citizenship - please share that with us today!  I'll be sending out an email soon to ensure you didn't miss this message - but want to get you thinking now!  Use this link to nominate an individual you believe matches the description of each (or all or only one) of the award categories... we have a fairly long list of people we know deserve to be recognized but don't want anyone to be missed along the way.  

Plenty of places to see you around in the next few days - I hope I do!

Jill