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Chamber looks to boost numbers

Roger Herrington said he hasn’t done a lot of advertising forhis excavating service. He suggested being a part of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce could help boost hisbusiness profile.

Herrington and his wife, Beverly, were among about 150 chambermembers and guests Tuesday evening at a fish fry sponsored by thechamber’s new Membership Development Committee. Herrington, whosaid he had several people encourage him to attend, liked what hesaw.

“Everybody in here seemed like family,” said Herrington as hediscussed his reasons for joining the chamber and membershipbenefits. “It seemed like it would be helping the family ofBrookhaven.”

Earl and Delores Gearing, and their daughter Leslie, were alsoamong the guests at Tuesday night’s event, held at the CountryFisherman. The Gearings own duplex apartments.

“We’ve been living here all our lives, and we love Brookhaven,”Earl Gearing said of their reasons for joining the chamber. “Welike the direction Brookhaven is going, and we want to be a part ofthat.”

The Herringtons and the Gearings are among 14 new members whohave joined the chamber during the latest membership drive. Thegoal this year is 100 new members, said Rita Rich, who co-chairsthe committee with Kenny Goza.

“We’ve got to step it up,” Rich said.

Rather than having a concentrated membership drive as in yearspast, Rich said the committee is looking to promote and encouragemembership during activities throughout the year. The fish fry isone part of that effort.

“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Rich said. “We’reexcited about it and hope it becomes an annual event.”

Goza agreed.

“It’s a good way for people to learn about the chamber in aninformal atmosphere,” Goza said.

During the evening, Rich updated guests on chamber committeesand activities, while Goza and Cliff Brumfield, executive vicepresident, discussed the chamber’s role in the community andbenefits of membership. Chamber members and event sponsors donatedapproximately 50 gifts for door prizes given away Tuesdaynight.

“We’re hoping this creates excitement about what’s going on inour community,” Goza said. “The chamber of commerce is a vital linkbetween the city and county and in helping our community grow.”