From my window… Too many Meeker events subject to overload

Looking out my window I saw a large number of people surrounding the Rio Blanco County Courthouse, peering up into the air with a forlorn, lost look. It seemed they were in need of some leader to emerge to tell them what to do next.
On Saturday morning was the Channel 9 Health Fair for the Meeker area, the Spring Expo to raise funds for Toni Simmons, a young wife and mother of two kids who is a cancer victim in Meeker, and the Meeker Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural agriculture and business workshops, held in conjunction with and leading up to the annual After Birth Ball.
It looks like they are searching for a way to make all three events, but that will be tough to work out.
One person I overheard said, “Why are all these events at the same time?”
“That’s a darned good question,” a woman stated. “We go long times without anything to do and now they all come at once.”
It is called bad planning and, in communities as small as Meeker and Rangely, it shouldn’t be happening.
This is a small enough area that event planners should be checking with the local chambers of commerce to find out what is going on.
The chamber is the logical clearing house for such information because so many of the activities in this town affect businesses, which are most often members of the chamber, and the chamber is the local visitor/business center to keep track of these things.
Kaitlin Cook, executive director of the Meeker Chamber of Commerce, agrees.
“It is quite odd that all of these things showed up on the same weekend,” Cook said. “The chamber booked the agricultural and business seminars long before any of the others said a word. If the Health Fair or the Spring Expo had just checked with us, we could have broken these things up, to keep them from all being at the same times.”
Ironically, the ag and business seminars organized by the chamber suffered the most. With the booming success of the Channel 9 Health Fair taking up the morning and the Spring Expo pulling in a lot of people in the morning as well, it was the morning session of the free agricultural and business seminars that suffered from a lower-than-expected turnout.
No one is saying that any one of these events is any more important than the other. In fact, all three events could have stood on their own. And therein is the reason to have a central clearing house of information to help locals and visitors figure out what to do, when and where.
To have these three events on three different weekends would have benefitted each of them, and turnout would likely have been better at each.
Also, ironically, it was the chamber that assisted with getting the word out about the Health Fair and Spring Expo, which it should be doing, but they also hurt themselves by helping to promote these other events.
When you or your group plan some major event for a day or weekend, how long does it take to call the chamber and find out if there are any major scheduling conflicts? Not very long.
Please check with the chamber in the first place and let’s all avoid the conflicts.
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I love letters to the editor. I don’t think there is any better way to measure the caring and involvement of community members than through letters to the editor in the newspaper.
I invite letters to the editor from readers and residents in the Meeker area, the Rangely area and the outside, rural areas of Rio Blanco County. Letters draw attention to positive actions, desires, problems and possible solutions to problems in our surroundings.
The letters section is not a better business bureau to allow residents to complain about a singular business or to launch personal attacks on any individual. It is there for residents as a public forum of ideas, suggestions and voices to help shape a community.
Yes, they can disagree with a board’s actions in a public forum; yes they can disagree with their elected officials; yes they can address any number of local (and sometimes state and national) issues. That is one thing that makes America the great nation it is — the ability to speak out with fear of reprisal.
So, if there is something that tickles your fancy or brings rain to your parade, let us know. If you perceive a problem or have a vision of success in some endeavor, let us know. We care. The readers care. Your neighbors care. And we may all benefit.
To submit letters, email your thoughts to sean@theheraldtimes, label them as letters to the editor and put a name, a hometown or phone number on those letters. We will not print the addresses or the phone numbers of persons who sent letters, but we will use the name and hometown.
Also, we will not accept anonymous letters or those which personally attack individuals or businesses as letters do not allow a person or a business to respond to an individual’s accusations.
Let’s keep the letters upbeat, informative or entertaining, and we can’t go wrong.
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Congratulations to the organizers of Saturday’s events in Meeker.
The Channel 9 Health Fair was a huge success, with volunteers staying busy with those who had been waiting for up to 30 minutes when the doors opened right up until closing time. A lot of people volunteered a lot of time, and they are to be soundly applauded.
The Meeker Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of the FFA Alumni did an excellent job of combining informative agricultural and business workshops to fill the day up until the evening festivities of the After Birth Ball. From lunch to dinner to a great time at the ball, the planning was extensive and well done.
And Stacy LeBlanc and her family and friends did a superb job in organizing nearly 30 vendors of widely diverse products to take part in the Spring Expo. Many, many folks took advantage of this event to purchase some neat items, but money was also raised to assist Meeker wife, mother and cancer victim Toni Simmons with travel expenses as she continues to travel across the county seeking the correct treatment for that cancer.
A good job was done by all, and county residents gained in all three cases from thousands of hours of community service by those who volunteered.

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