We had an action-packed month here at the Pierce County Chamber of Commerce doing what we do best --- educating, promoting, training, networking, advocating, and celebrating!

If you are not a member of the Pierce County Chamber, now is the time to join.

Rabbiteye Winery
Bell Farms Rabbiteye Winery hosted an amazing Business After Hours last Thursday. Over 70 people enjoyed the wine tastings, facility tours, door prizes, fellowship, enticing refreshments, and peaceful atmosphere. Bell Farms, located at 4331 GA Hwy. 32 in Bristol, is a grower and packer of Rabbiteye blueberries and now offers Rabbiteye Blueberry Wine. The tasting room is open Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 6 pm. Check them out on Facebook - Bell Farms Rabbiteye Winery, or give them a call at 647-2807.
Wake Up, Pierce
We appreciate the local candidates who participated in last week's Wake Up, Pierce breakfast event. The 5-minute political updates were presented to a packed house at the Garden Café. Attendees listened attentively while the candidates discussed issues, qualifications, and concerns. Following the updates, folks had a few minutes to meet one-on-one with candidates. Early voting is open. Please, familiarize yourself with these candidates and issues, and exercise your right to vote!
A.J. Strickland Fishing Tournament
Satilla Riverkeeper is pleased to announce the A.J. Strickland "King of the River" Satilla River Fishing Tournament, to be held Saturday, May 7, with weigh in hosted at Tindall Enterprises in Blackshear. Registration ends at 5 pm on Friday. Adult registration is $25, and youth under 16 years old fish for free. All fish caught by fishing pole the day of the tournament from anywhere on the Satilla River or any of its tributaries can be entered in the tournament. Adults can fish from boats, kayaks, canoes, or from the bank but must be registered as a team with at least two members.

Interested participants can find registration forms at local fishing and tackle shops in the watershed, at the Chamber, or register online at   www.satillariverkeeper.org. This tournament is one of the many events planned to celebrate the new Satilla River Water Trail. More than $1,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.
College of Coastal Georgia Campus Tour
This past Friday, the Chamber partnered with Pierce County Middle School and the College of Coastal Georgia (CCGA) to send 31 middle school students on a college visit at CCGA. This interactive experience featured a campus scavenger hunt, a surprise visit by Dean of Mathematics, Dr. Victor Vega-Vazquez, a wonderful meal in the Mariners Galley, and a year-by-year, step-by-step guide to preparing for college. Aerial Dickerson, Associate Director of Admissions at CCGA, did a fantastic job designing the tour to meet the needs and interests of these students. We look forward to future workforce development projects with CCGA and PCMS!
Max Marketing
Over a three week period, a number of Pierce and Ware County entrepreneurs participated in an in depth study of marketing for their specific businesses. The Maximum Marketing Program was presented by Jordan Tippett, consultant with the Brunswick office of the University of Georgia's Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The program was co-hosted by the Pierce County and Waycross-Ware County Chambers of Commerce.

Participants making the final presentation were Scott Beahan, Shutterfly Perfect Portraiture; Rene' Bolden, Blackshear Main Street Program; Renee Choate, ATC Broadband; Amy Dixon - Waycross Chamber; Angela Manders, Pierce Chamber; GinaMarie Senters, Stellar Sounds; Lauralee Steverson , Vein Specialists of Georgia; Blake Swann, Signature Clothing and Kelly Thrift, Southern Correctional Medicine.
Two New Businesses in Downtown Blackshear
Shutterly Perfect & Josiah's Blessings held their Ribbon Cutting on March 21. We had a great time viewing the local art work and hearing about the products and services being offered by these two entrepreneurs. Stop by 113 SW Central Avenue in Blackshear and learn about these exciting enterprises. 

Shutterly Perfect is a new photography studio and gallery and will feature works of arts by local talent. Josiah's Blessings is a fair trade store featuring handmade goods from around the world. These shops are a wonderful addition to our downtown. Help us welcome them to Blackshear!
Rockin' Bear is Back
We had a great turnout for Rockin' Bear's Ribbon Cutting on April 18. From all reports, folks around the region are excited about the modern look, traditional menu items, and new food choices. 

Let Rockin' Bear cook for you today! You are going to love the friendly service, new look, and delicious food! Stop by 3725 U.S. Hwy. 84 in Blackshear, and see what all the fuss is about!
Scholarship Winner
During the recent Academic Booster Club Banquet, Yasmeen Carter was presented with the 2016 Chamber Scholarship in the amount of $1000. Yasmeen plans to attend Georgia Southern University where she will major in multimedia communication. While a student at Pierce County High School, Yasmeen has been an active member of the Student Advisory Council, Future Business Leaders of America, and the PCHS Yearbook Staff. Her dedication to community service and leadership will take her far. We wish you well, Yasmeen!
Farmers Market/Summer in the City
You definitely want to be in downtown Blackshear on May 13 &14! The City of Blackshear's Main Street Program will host the annual Summer in the City Festival in the Blackshear City Park. 

This year, the festival will feature a Farmers Market showcasing locally grown and made products! Also, you will want to get to town early on Saturday so you can visit the yard sales and sidewalk sales that will be going on at the Main Street Market. For more info go to  visitblackshear.com.  Hope to see you there!
Tindall Student Tour
As part of the Chamber's Workforce Development Initiatives, we are working with local businesses/industries and the school system to offer students some interactive, behind-the-scene tours.  

Our first Student Opportunity Tour was hosted by Tindall Enterprises. Thank you for the awesome tour and information session! We appreciate the careers and services you provide in this community.
Cancer Walk
The Southeast Cancer Unit is celebrating 20 years of helping fellow residents in their battles with cancer with a milestone Cancer Walk fundraiser Friday, May 6, in Blackshear.
The local, all-volunteer organization has held annual fundraisers for the past two decades to aid cancer patients in Pierce, Ware and Brantley counties. The May 6 event is scheduled from 6 p.m. to midnight at the College Avenue walking track behind the Pierce County Public Library.

For more information, call (912) 287-9008 or (912) 614-4497