Suwannee Democrat


February 27, 2014

Chamber mixer features new tourism center in White Springs

Jasper — A generous crowd turned out for a Chamber Mixer Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Nature and Heritage Tourism Center on US 41 in the center of downtown White Springs. Guests were asked to bring a business card for a chance to win a $100 gift card and at the end of the evening the winning number in the drawing was claimed by Dennis Price of White Springs. The $100 gift card was donated by councilman Rhett Bullard.

The town of White Springs recently acquired management of the tourism center, which they have turned into a showcase for local artists to display their wares.

Hamilton County Chamber of Commerce President Susan Ramsey said, “It’s a huge responsibility and it looks like they’ve done a fantastic job of organizing it and setting everything up. I have to commend them for putting this together and making it all look so nice and so beautiful.”

Ramsey told the crowd that the chamber was available to help member business owners succeed.

Individual memberships, she added, are also available.

“You’d be surprised at the services you receive as a chamber member,” Ramsey said.

Members can request to have their events advertised on the sign at Jasper City Park. The chamber also sends out e-mail blasts and posts events on their Facebook page to keep members apprised of what’s going on in the community.

“We really work to help everyone, no matter if you’re just working out of your house or you’re working for a large corporation,” said Ramsey.

Vice Mayor Walter McKenzie spoke briefly about the recent acquisition of the tourism center by the town and explained how much more leverage they have now, as far as what can be displayed within the center since they are not governed by the state park system.

“We’re going to be freed up to do a lot of things that couldn’t be done before,” McKenzie said. “We’ve got an eager staff of people who are eager to work hard at it.”

McKenzie said it isn’t just the White Springs welcome center, but it is a tourist and information center for the entire region.

“We plan on doing a better job of representing the average small business and the average person who wants to be sure the word gets out,” McKenzie added.

The center is already filled with amazing arts and crafts made by regional artists, including Janet Moses, Betty Barnes, Paul Brandt and numerous others.

Light refreshments, compliments of Family Traditions were served during the mixer and the chicken salad finger sandwiches received rave reviews from everyone who tried them.

As the evening wound down and folks began to leave, they were greeted outside on the porch by Tom Moore who was selling tickets for this year’s Wild Azalea Festival duck race, which will be held March 14-15 in White Springs. First prize is a brand new Sundolphin kayak.

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