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Friday, Oct 31, 2014
The Sun

Dittmar: Sun City chamber could use volunteers


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We’re expanding and growing here at Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce, and with that come the expected growing pains. You know, the ones involving change and restructuring. The changes themselves are necessary and even welcome, but they can take some getting used to.

If you’ve been to visit us lately, you might have witnessed a scene like this one: several people are in the lobby looking at brochures or having an important document faxed or copied. The volunteer is on the phone giving directions to the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, and both Dexter and I are either on the phone or have a chamber member in our office.

To be concise, we’re incredibly busy this time of year as our snowbirds need assistance. Consequently, we need more volunteers to assist with the demand.

In addition, the chamber now has more than 460 members, and we’re providing more services than ever before.

A couple of years ago, we divided the front lobby into an Information and Welcome Center with its own volunteer and created a chamber assistant volunteer position on the other side of the room. With this new division of labor and another person helping out, Dexter and I are finding ourselves a lot more productive.

Most often this time of year our visitors want travel and tourism information. They want to visit our many day-trip destinations, especially when the grandkids are down on spring break. We also assist them with updated maps and directories, copying, faxing and the occasional typing job. Our information volunteers are assigned the task of working with these visitors to answer their questions and send them to the right place.

Our chamber assistant volunteers help us update our website and enters new events and new members into our database. They pull research reports for us and help us send out anniversary cards to our members. They also help us set up for events in the banquet room and put together packets for our ambassadors.

On the days when we’re overloaded with visitors, the chamber assistant pitches in, and on the days when we’re gearing up for a big event and it’s slow otherwise, the information volunteer does the same.

If this seems like a fun or interesting way to spend your time, we could use your help. Don’t think for a moment you’d be thrown to the wolves. We provide a training day to make sure everyone knows their job and where to find answers to questions.

If you could give us 3.5 hours a week, drop in and talk to us. You get to pick which side of the aisle works best for you. You’ll meet new friends, have a few laughs and be part of something big. I hope you see you soon.

Dana Dittmar is the executive director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce.

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