This year marks the 110th anniversary of the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce. As the president of the Chamber, I remain committed to upholding our vow to connect commerce and community in a positive and beneficial way, as does the Chamber’s executive board, all of whom are community business leaders and residents.
Of course, this would not be possible without the continuous support we receive from Mayor Francis X. Murray and his team — a big thank you goes out to all those who help make our town the Jewel of the South Shore for both residents and businesses alike.
Many people frequently ask me, “what does the Chamber of Commerce actually do?” I’d like to address this question by outlining the things that go on around our community that you may or may not realize are the doings of the 150 members of the Chamber of Commerce.
Now it their third year, EAT.SHOP.ROCK (scheduled for June 4, 2016) and the RVC Food & Wine Festival (set for Sept. 10, 2016) are two highly successful events for both residents and local businesses. We consciously limit business participation to those entities who call Rockville Centre home, ensuring that profitability stays within our community.
EAT.SHOP.ROCK is free to attend and offers plenty to do for all ages, giving families a fun day out without hitting their wallets. The Chamber of Commerce came up with the concept for both of these events, and we coordinate every aspect of them, from marketing and staffing to securing local business sponsorships in order to keep attendee costs low and give sponsor businesses added value and recognition. We are proud that more than 1,000 people attend each event, and that proceeds in 2015 went to support two local charities.
The Chamber is also committed to education, and we put our money where our mouth is. Membership dues, raffles and sponsorship funds go to support the four scholarships that the Chamber provides to the community: three go to South Side High School graduates (one named after long-time Resident, Chamber secretary and Herald employee Karen Resnick), and just this year we approved a fourth scholarship to be awarded to a South Side senior planning to attend Molloy College.