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Sponsors step forward to help cover Massena Chamber events

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MASSENA — Several businesses have stepped forward to provide financial support for Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce events and efforts in 2014, according to board President Miriam S. Catapano.

“We have sponsors for some events that we’ve never had before,” she said.

The chamber hosts several events throughout the year, including the Massena Winter Carnival, the Easter-egg hunt, the annual Heritage Festival, the Block Dance/Car Show, and the Summer Concerts in the Park.

Some, such as the Heritage Festival, are money-makers for the chamber, while others are simply for the benefit of the community.

But all of those events come with associated costs, and Ms. Catapano said they’ve been seeking sponsorship support for them.

“We changed something this year. Penny (Pullmain, associate director) was somewhat instrumental,” she said.

Ms. Catapano said that members of the chamber’s Board of Directors compiled a list of the upcoming events for 2014.

“One of the things they thought was, it would be better for our members if we went to them with a list of all the events we have and said, ‘Here’s sponsorship opportunities for the whole year. When you’re budgeting, think about these opportunities,’” she said. “It’s the first year we’ve done it in such an organized and systematic manner. We’re very pleased.”

Doing that, she said, provides exposure for the chamber member and also helps the chamber.

“It was well worth the effort because it’s starting to pay off,” she said.

There are also opportunities for website advertising and water-bottle sponsorship.

“The Winter Carnival is in the mix, but was done separately in more detail,” Ms. Catapano said.

The event sponsorships list, which included a sponsorship fee, was sent out as an individual mailing rather than put with the dues letter, as it had been in the past, she said.

“The response was phenomenal. We were very pleased with the number of members that returned the form. Some of them will sponsor events they hadn’t in the past,” Ms. Catapano said.

Ms. Catapano said they approached potential Winter Carnival sponsors separately through visits, letters and phone calls.

“It requires a lot more funding than any of the other events,” she said. “The Winter Carnival is there for the community. Our goal was to have an event in the winter. For the Massena area we wanted to give them something to do during the winter. We also wanted to bring in outside people for the economic impact.”

The chamber will continue to seek out sponsorship for their 2014 events, according to the board president.

“We have members that have been supportive of the chamber over and over again. If anybody is still interested, we would love to speak to them,” Ms. Catapano said.

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