November 2016
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2016 Board of Directors
We Thank Our Annual Sponsors
Camelia Sponsor

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Message from the Chairman 

If you missed the Business Expo last Thursday you missed a great time! twenty-five Chamber members had tables set up promoting their businesses. Maxwell Elementary and Briarwood Academy students provided entertainment, and a local band, "Harlem Sons," took the stage to play a set of Southern rock to close out the evening. Thanks to all who participated and attended!
Fall has arrived, and it even feels like it at times. The Chamber has a number of events planned for the upcoming weeks: ribbon cuttings for Pruitt Health on November 1st and Dozier Big Green Egg on November 9.  University Hospital McDuffie will host a Business After Hours on November 10, and the annual Pre-Legislative Breakfast is November 15th. On Thursday, December 1st, we will begin the Christmas Season with the Tree lighting at The Depot at 6:00 pm. The Camellia City Festival and Christmas Tour of Homes is Saturday, December 3rd, and the Christmas Parade is Sunday, December 4th beginning at 3:00 p.m. It's going to be a great holiday season so plan to be a part of it!
Business After Hours
Ribbon Cuttings
Please mark your calendars for the Ribbon Cuttings this month...

Pre-Legislative Breakfast
Small Business Saturday
Several Merchants have gotten together to host unique opportunities for the community to come out and shop our local businesses during the Holiday months.  Help us keep our dollars local when you go out to purchase your Christmas gifts.  We want to keep our shops busy here in McDuffie County. 

Each chamber business will have raffles taking place during the Holiday months.  Make sure you stop in and participate and also take a SELFIE with the owner or staff member.  Help get the word out and share the selfie with your social media friends.  REMEMBER to Hashtag!!! #shopmcduffie

To get things started, The Thomson Family YMCA will host a Parent's Night Out on November 12th for those that want to get started on their Christmas shopping.  To find out more about Shop McDuffie, visit the Facebook Page: Shop McDuffie.  You'll be able see what businesses are planning to do during the Christmas Season.

Fall Crows and Hay Bales!
It truly was exciting to see all the Fall decorations taking place through downtown Thomson.  Major Cudos to all that took the time to design such creative Fall Crows and Hay Bales.  So many people have contacted the Chamber Office commenting on how much they have enjoyed seeing them.  Overall this was a huge success and something we'll do again next year. 

The winners for the Fall Crow contest were: 1st Place - Georgia Power, 2nd Place - Greer Cleaning Services, and 3rd Place - Workforce Capital. Winners for the Hay Bale contest were: 1st Place - Suntrust Bank, 2nd Place - State Bank and Trust, and 3rd Place - Dr. Thomas Neal.

Block Party / Business Expo
The Block Party-Business Expo was an awesome experience where the community came out and enjoyed local talents and visited with chamber businesses. We want to thank Georgia Pacific and Jefferson Energy Cooperative for sponsoring the event.  We had over 25 chamber businesses set up tents and tables to showcase what their business offers.  Choirs from Maxwell Elementary and Briarwood Academy sang in the beginning of the evening, and the Thomson Sparklers showed off their amazing twirling skills.  And last but not least, the The Harlem Sons performed a fantastic show.  If you didn't make this event, you really missed out. We took several pictures that are located on our on our website
Employer (HR) Committee
The Employer (HR) Committee held their monthly meeting  on Tuesday, October 18th at One Stop. This meeting was sponsored by Thomson Plastics.    

We were fortunate to have Karen Tink er, Director of Drug Free
Workplace, speak to the group on the Drugs Don't Work program that is offered t hrough the Chamber of Commerce.  Her presentation was well received by the group, and we would like to have her back to speak to the entire Chamber membership at a later date.  

The Employer (HR) Committee meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:45 am for a program provided by experts in the fields of labor laws and hiring practices. The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 15th at the Thomson Depot during the Pre-Legislative Breakfast.  For information, contact the Chamber for information regarding upcoming programs or to RSVP for the event. 

Get Ready for the Camellia City Festival! 

The Camellia City Festival is the 1st weekend in December, and we are reaching out to local businesses, churches, schools and civic organizations to participate in this event to create a fun-filled day for the citizens of McDuffie County and surrounding counties.

Thomson Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Tree Lighting at the Depot will begin at 6:00 pm with entertainment from Maxwell Elementary. The Thomson Fire Department will have hot chocolate and popcorn.  Santa will be riding in with Mrs. Claus to visit with the boys and girls. The Thomson Junior Womans Club will have Cookies and Pictures with Santa that evening.  The entertainment for the evening will be Norris Elementary choir and Maxwell Elementary choir.  

Reindeer Run (5K Race)
To kick off the Festival on December 3rd, we will have the Reindeer Run (5K Race) beginning at 8:00 am in the parking lot behind MAC on Main.  You may pick up a form at the Thomson Family YMCA or at the Chamber office. They are also available online at  We also have them available online on the Chamber website.  You will need to sign a waiver and give shirt size on your registration form.  The cost of the race is $25. Awards ceremony will take place at 10:00 am at the Thomson Depot.  

The festival is starting to take shape with over 40 vendors already signed up.  It will open at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.   We have several local churches that have signed up to perform throughout the day.  If you or someone you know would like to perform at the festival, please call the Chamber.  We have time slots available for a few more acts.  

Tour of Homes
To end the evening, the Christmas Tour of Homes will begin at 5:00 p.m. at Springfield Baptist Church.  We will have several buses to take you to each house on the tour.  This year's homes are as follows:  Dwayne and Paige Boutwell, Ray and Alison Cushman, Jerry Reid, Jeannie Simmons, Chad and Kerie Norris.  Tickets are on sale at the Chamber office...$18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $15 for Senior Citizens.

Christmas Parade
The Christmas Parade's theme is O'Holy Night.  Now's the time to make your plans for your float! Let's make this parade bigger and better and remind people of the meaning of Christmas.  Our Grand Marshal this year will be retired Fire Fighter, Edward Gay.  We will be playing music on Main Street along with a live broadcast on WTHO radio station.  Your parade emcees are Bill Hopkins (Watson & Knox Real Estate)  and Julie Langham (Augusta Technical College).

Please contact the Chamber to find out how to get involved or click here for more information
Leadership McDuffie
Leadership McDuffie is having a Chili fundraiser! Purchase a $7.00 ticket for a Bowl of Gourmet Chili, Baked Potato, and Dessert.  You may purchase tickets at the Chamber office or from any Leadership McDuffie Board Member. Pick up is at Thomson High School Band Room on  Thursday, November 3rd from 5 - 7 pm .
Each year Leadership McDuffie, a leadership program associated with the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce, seeks nominations from local businesses and churches for individuals interested in Leadership McDuffie.  As we begin preparations for the 2017 Class of Leadership McDuffie, we would like to encourage you to enroll or nominate a leader from your organization to participate in this program. 

The program will emphasize topics important to our community and will provide participants with a greater awareness of community issues, needs, services, and resources.
The goals of Leadership McDuffie are:
  • To promote, stimulate, and train leaders for the political, business, and civic communities of McDuffie County.
  • To act as a forum to educate our county leaders and community members on issues which affect the social, economic, and cultural growth and development of our community.
  • To foster long range planning for our county.
  • To encourage more involvement in the community development process.
The program consists of a kick-off retreat in January (over-night Friday to Saturday) and 6 additional classes (ranging from ½ day to a full day) held from February through June.  The tuition associated with the Leadership McDuffie Program is $350 with the first non-refundable payment of $150 due with your completed application no later than November 18, 2016.  The final balance is due by December 15, 2016.  Although it is not a requirement for a business to sponsor nominees, it is welcomed as a show of support.

We hope that you will seriously consider this opportunity .  To register, the nominee must complete the attached application and submit it with the deposit to a Leadership McDuffie Board Member or the Chamber of Commerce no later than November 18, 2016.


Leadership McDuffie
Board of Directors

Chamber Ambassadors
Thomson High School hosted the Chamber Ambassador meeting on October 5th. Carla Shelton, High School Principal, spoke to the group about the many changes that have taken place since she's come on board.  Then two Thomson High Seniors also spoke about their school career and the positive atmosphere among the student body.

Every month we recognize the Ambassador of the month, and this month's winner goes to Juanita Thomas, Legal Shield, and Brooks Thompson, CSRA Home Health.

On October 26th, the Ambassadors went through a half day of Ambassador training at the chamber office on October 26th.  Heath Taylor, President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, facilitated the program and demonstrated to them the importance of their position with the Chamber.   

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