Chamber News & Views

By Lynne Conlan
Executive Director, Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce

Holiday time always seems to bring out the best in people. Well, maybe not at 11:30 p.m. Christmas Eve when you’re in line trying to snag that last-minute gift or needing to buy another bag of dinner rolls.

I’ve heard from many people about their favorite forms of charitable giving throughout the holiday season, and how it ends up making them feel as good about giving as those who receive their holiday gestures. I’d agree.

My favorite annual holiday activity is joining The Rough Riders for their Teddy Bear runs on Christmas Eve. This year, my husband and I joined a group that went to St. Joseph Women’s Hospital. It was gratifying handing out beads and bears to its hardworking holiday staff and 15 gorgeous newborns, some who were going home for Christmas and some who, unfortunately, would be spending the holidays right there in the hospital.

At the chamber this season, I saw firsthand the generosity of Sun City Center area residents as we assisted three nonprofit efforts: Veterans Funeral Care’s Operation Toy Soldier, which collected donations of toys for children of deployed military; the annual Good Samaritan Mission Food Drive; and Home Instead Senior Care’s “Be a Santa to a Senior,” which collected Secret Santa gift donations for elders in need. All the bins and boxes were filled, emptied and refilled repeatedly throughout the holiday season.

Wouldn’t it be great if that glow of holiday giving lasted throughout the year? There are so many worthwhile organizations in and around the area that could use our help. If you’re looking for some way to extend those warm holiday feelings, just drop by the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce and look through our membership directory. The nonprofit section is filled with groups and organizations that would love your time, your talents or whatever you have to offer.

Let’s make 2018 the year that holiday cheer is the gift that keeps on giving.

And speaking of giving, some of you may not know that your chamber’s board of directors is made up of a group of volunteers. All of them have “real” jobs.

To say they participate in chamber activities in their free time is a misstatement of fact. Because of their steadfast dedication and commitment, these folks give of their time even when they’re stretched to the limit. They’ve all pledged to support the chamber’s mission of promoting the commercial, professional, financial and general business interests in the Sun City Center area and promoting the general interests and welfare of the community.

On Jan. 12, we’ll be recognizing the chamber’s outgoing, incoming and continuing board members at our annual Awards Banquet and Installation of Officers at Club Renaissance. Chamber members can still register for the event by Friday, Jan. 5, by giving the chamber a call at 813-634-5111.

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