WHITE LAKE — The new Ambassador’s Club, an arm of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, gathered on Tuesday at Goldston’s Restaurant in White Lake and began generating ideas for the future.
While only six of the 11 ambassadors were present, co-chairs Erin Smith and Billie Hall pushed ahead with an agenda that opened with discussion on the status of James Leach as an ambassador.
Leach, who was the previous owner and operator of the City Sandwhich Shop on South Poplar Street in downtown Elizabethtown, recently closed the business and, despite his membership with the Chamber remaining active, has not returned repeated telephone calls and emails from Chamber members — or attended Chamber events since the closing.
Though the discussion included removing Leach as an ambassador, Chamber President Tiina Mundy said she would prefer to “let this play out and we probably won’t have to worry about it.” For now, that seemed to be the overall wishes of the ambassadors, as well.
The ambassadors also discussed how the group will communicate with Chamber Executive Director Dawn Maynard and the Chamber board of directors. In essence, it was decided that Maynard will not be required to attend meetings, but would have the chance to add any necessary items to the monthly agenda ahead of time; and Ambassador Club Committee members — Brittney Woodell, Charlotte Smith and Barbara Knight — as well as Mundy, were invited to attend the meetings anytime they wished.
The ambassadors, who will be asked to assist with Chamber events like the Summer Sounds Concert Series, were also asked for fundraising ideas — and several were brought up. Those ideas included a Dancing with the Stars event, a Miss Bladen County pageant, a Color Run, a golf tournament and a restaurant Celebrity Server event.
Other ideas included a pancake breakfast and a hot-dog eating contest.
“We already rely heavily on the membership to help fund the Chamber events year-round,” said W. Curt Vincent, an ambassador with the Chamber. “I think it’s important we use fundraisers to widen the Chamber’s reach, give the community a chance to take some ownership in the Chamber’s efforts and look for ways to give back to the community with special projects — like refurbishing the Curtis Brown Jr. mural (in downtown Elizabethtown).”
“There are a lot of things we can do (as a Chamber) to partner with the public and raise money for special projects,” Smith said. “But we’ll need to look at the calendar and make sure we don’t try to do something when other events are going on.”
The next meeting of the Ambassador’s Club will be Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market in downtown Elizabethtown.