Aug. 21, 2021 — The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce represents its members and local business interests by communicating news and connecting resources. It is an essential link in the chain which draws new residents and new businesses to the area, as well as supporting current members.
One of the most visible aspects of the chamber is the all-volunteer Florence Ambassadors, which acts as the publicity arm of the Chamber.
Mike Bones is the chair of the Ambassadors, which elected its new board of directors in July.
“The Florence Area Chamber Ambassadors had our first meeting in over a year,” Bones said. “We enjoyed getting to see one another and getting back down to business! We welcomed our elected officers and we are looking forward to being active with our Chamber activities again.”
The board now includes President Mike Bones, Vice President Igor Kusznirczuk, Secretary Kathy Bones and Treasurer Terry Woodward.
“We are looking for potential and interested new members,” Bones said.
Many volunteers are needed to support local nonprofits. During the pandemic, volunteer numbers have dropped.
According to Bones, filling the open spots on the board was a minor challenge. However, the need now is to add to the number of individuals participating in the activities associated with the ribbon-cuttings, grand openings and recognition ceremonies that take place in and around Florence during the year.
“We really do need some new volunteers,” he said. “A lot of our members are getting older and some have retired or moved away. We have a great group of people and it is fun to represent the city. So, if anyone is interested, they should just give us a call or come out for our monthly meetings, which are usually at my house. We have dinner and talk about events, and get to know each other.”
The Florence Ambassadors can often be seen at ribbon-cuttings and events around town, most recently at the opening of Miller Park’s new concession facility on Aug. 3.
Bones was the Florence First Citizen in 2005 and has long-term connections to the Florence Garden Club and the Florence Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. His participation as a volunteer in fundraising endeavors for local nonprofits continues.
After Bones was named First Citizen, he spoke about the importance of volunteers.
“I was raised in this caring community. Giving back by volunteering is a way to show that appreciation, besides making me just plain feel good,” he said. “Giving back and helping others is a very rewarding experience in itself. Besides helping our community look good and prosper, there are many opportunities for everyone to volunteer in our community. Do your part.”