By PHYLLIS SHIPP
Special to Atmore News
The Canoe Study Club met on the afternoon of February 19, at the home of Mrs. Linda Ellison. Mrs. Ellison served delicious refreshments while club members, and the guest speaker, Mrs. Emily Wilson, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, enjoyed visiting.
The meeting was called to order by Mrs. Becky McDonald, president. Mrs. Wilson was invited to speak with the club about her accomplishments and plans for the Chamber of Commerce during her first year as Executive Director.
Mrs. Wilson stated that she fell in love with Atmore during her first visit here and is very happy to have been given the opportunity to work with the Chamber. She stated that during her first year, the Chamber has seen a 12 percent growth, nine new events have been planned, and a multitude of new marketing items have been created. Mrs. Wilson stated that she advocated for Atmore’s participation in the tax-free weekend. There is a big emphasis on work force development, and a small grant has been received. The Chamber Ambassador Program has been revamped. Mrs. Wilson wants to do more for Chamber members. She realizes that there is a lot of room for growth, so there are now 22 Chamber board members representing more inclusive segments of the community. This year’s Chamber Gala was the largest ever and very successful.
Other accomplishments include the Art Walk, which will have temporary art displays, as well as permanent art like the mural painted on the side of the Chamber office which is located in a historical building; the Little Libraries are in place; the Heart Walk was organized.
Future plans include installation of acrylic boxes along the mural at the Chamber building which will contain brochures and instructions for individuals to participate in their own private art walk tour around Atmore.
Atmore is getting small trains to be designed by public high school students as part of their work skills development. Businesses are encouraged to sponsor this project. Once the trains are designed and built, local artists will decorate them. The trains will be placed all around Atmore as part of the permanent Art Walk collection.
This fall, an entire month of activities referred to as “Happy Fall, Y’all” are being planned for October, leading up to the annual Williams Station festival.
Mrs. Wilson’s commitment to Chamber members and to the community prompted a suggestion from club member, Linda Ellison. Mrs. Ellison mentioned that there are plenty of local activities for the youth, but more activities, and more inclusion, are needed for the older population. The older population is the best source capable of sharing valuable information about Atmore’s history.
Mrs. Wilson completed her presentation and needed to leave for another appointment. The Club continued with its business, after which the meeting was adjourned.
The Canoe Study Club gathered at the home of Mrs. Becky McDonald on the morning of March 19, 2019 for a short business meeting before members left for an outing to Pensacola. Club members toured the beautifully decorated business, “Celebrations.” After shopping, the group continued to Skopelos restaurant for a wonderful lunch before returning home.