This past Saturday morning the streets of Downtown Clinton were bustling as people of all ages started lining the way for the Clinton Christmas Parade.
Parade Committee Chair Steve Stefanovich of Go Automotive, and his committee members came together to present you with another wonderful parade filled with high school bands, business and non-profit organization floats, pageant queens, clowns and so much more! Hundreds of folks marched, danced, and rode their way from the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center, down College Street, looping back around the Courthouse for a moment of fame on television and radio.
Chamber of Commerce President-Elect, Anthony Sessoms (Denning, Herring, Sessoms & Company, PA), and I followed the Color Guard as we led the way down the parade route proudly displaying our 2015 Chamber Corporate Sponsor banner. We were able to catch back up with Santa Claus and his candy-tossing kiddie elves to loop back through the parade course on a beautiful Saturday morning. These are the moments that I will cherish as I look back on my time spent as the Chamber President. Wonderful events such as the Clinton parade could not take place without the dedication and support of so many volunteers, sponsors, committee members, and businesses.
As my Presidency draws to close at the end of the month, I want to take a moment to highlight an organization that I proudly helped to initiate in 2015. The Young Professionals of Sampson County is a sub-organization of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce that kicked off in June and already boasts over 100 members! Membership in the Young Professionals is open to anyone aged 22-40 and the organization’s mission is to connect young professionals, ENGAGE within the community, and advance in leadership development to become the leaders of tomorrow. Our organization is governed by a seven-member steering committee that works to schedule at least two social, community service/volunteer, and leadership/professionalism training events each month.
The Young Professionals hosted a “Back to School Bash” at Ribeyes of Clinton in August, collecting school supplies for Clinton and Sampson County Schools while providing a fun afternoon of activities for the kids to enjoy, including a dunking booth! We have volunteered at the First Baptist Church Soup Kitchen, and at the Downtown Dash, a 5K/10K race.
I look forward to watching this organization grow and getting to know other young professionals in our county. I fell in love with this town and community when I moved here eight years ago, and I can’t imagine ever wanting to move. But, so many young people move here and soon leave because they are unable to settle in or connect with others. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining, or if you are a business owner and have employees who would benefit from our organization, check out our website under the “Young Professionals” tab at www.clintonsampsonchamber.org. Membership dues for employees of Chamber members are $35/year and non-members are $45/year.
If you are interested in joining the Chamber of Commerce in 2016, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (910) 592-6177.
Alison Carr is the president of the Clinton Sampson Chamber of Commerce.