‘Be an Edmonds Kind of Hero’ fundraising campaign aims to save 113-year-old Edmonds Chamber of Commerce

Two days after Edmonds experienced a 4th of July with no parade or fireworks show, a community task force has launched a campaign to ensure that the century-old Edmonds Chamber of Commerce — sponsor of the 4th celebration and myriad other city events — survives financially.

As part of the campaign, “Be An Edmonds Kind of Hero,” the task force wrote an appeal Monday to the community, noting that “A virus canceled the Edmonds 4th of July festivities in 2020. It could end up canceling our Chamber of Commerce too.”

The letter asks those who have enjoyed past chamber-sponsored events — including the Fourth of July, Taste Edmonds, downtown Halloween trick or treating, and the Edmonds Tree Lighting — to donate $25 per person annually.

“The situation is simple,” said the letter’s co-signers, which includes well-known names like European travel expert Rick Steves and former U.S. Rep. Brian Baird. “If our community can raise $100,000 by the end of the year, we can save our Chamber. If not, we will lose it.”

With an operating budget of about $275,000 annually, the chamber — founded in 1907 — is funded by local business memberships and Taste Edmonds. “This year, due to this pandemic, the Chamber’s revenues are way down, and its very existence is in jeopardy,” the co-signers wrote. “That also puts into jeopardy this exciting calendar of community events – events that are woven into the fun of calling Edmonds ‘home.’

“Next Fourth of July, instead of empty streets without a parade, who doesn’t want to see a vibrant celebration, injecting community spirit and energy into our city again?” the task force wrote.

 

Here’s the entire message from the community task force:

COVID-19 Canceled this Year’s Edmonds Kind of 4th. And to Save Next Year’s Fourth, We Need to Save our Chamber of Commerce

A virus canceled the Edmonds 4th of July festivities in 2020. It could end up canceling our Chamber of Commerce too. And, if that happens, even after the pandemic crisis passes, Edmonds will have no 4th of July festivities, no Halloween, no Car Show, no Tree Lighting, no Taste Edmonds and no local organization designed to keep our business community vibrant and uniquely Edmonds.

These events are not paid for by tax dollars or our city. It is the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce that produces and funds our beloved community events (and keeps them free for all) each year.

But this year, due to this pandemic, the Chamber’s revenues are way down, and its very existence is in jeopardy. That also puts into jeopardy this exciting calendar of community events – events that are woven into the fun of calling Edmonds “home”. Next Fourth of July, instead of empty streets without a parade, who doesn’t want to see a vibrant celebration, injecting community spirit and energy into our city again?

That’s why caring Edmonds residents serving on a volunteer Chamber Task Force are coming together to encourage other caring residents to help save our Chamber of Commerce.

The situation is simple: If our community can raise $100,000 by the end of the year, we can save our Chamber and the wonderful events it produces for our community. If not, we will lose it all.

The Chamber of Commerce does much more than events. Its fundamental mission is to help our local businesses be coordinated, efficient, and healthy. And the popularity of the public events is a fun reminder of how, behind the scenes, the Chamber of Commerce is hard at work in making our community what it has become.

The Chamber of Commerce is totally independent (it is nonpolitical and pays no dues or allegiance to any national organization). It is Edmonds for Edmonds only – funded, until now, by local business memberships and Taste Edmonds. Its operating budget is about $275,000 a year (a small staff of three, a mission of providing grants, supporting a healthy business environment for the good of our community both in the downtown and along Highway 99, and to fund the annual calendar of public events).

To save our Chamber, for the first time in its history, caring residents of our community are being asked to help out

That’s why caring residents on the Chamber Task Force are coming together to encourage other caring residents to help save our Chamber of Commerce. The situation is simple: If our community can raise $100,000 by the end of the year, we can save our Chamber. If not, we will lose it.

Consider 40,000 people collectively raising $100,000. That’s $2.50 each. Of course, the reality of these kinds of things is a few people will do the heavy lifting. We propose those heroes do ten times their fair share and support the Chamber at $25 per year to become An Edmonds Kind of Hero.

Rick Steves said, “I’ve attended Halloween events in Edmonds for decades. It’s about the only thing in my life that I’ve done 30 years in a row. I love it…it celebrates our community…it’s for all…and it’s free. In fact, nearly 10,000 people each year enjoy Halloween in Edmonds for free. By becoming An Edmonds Kind of Hero, I’ll now attend this and all the other events knowing I’m doing my share to make it possible. That’s $25 very well spent.”

There are many ways—both big and little—to help out. The entire Chamber Task Force (who have co-written and signed this article) have joined at the simple a $25 a year level. And we challenge neighbors like you who love our town to pledge your support too.

Together we can make sure Edmonds events like An Edmonds Kind of 4th returns in 2021 and beyond. And we can be sure our business community will have the help of the Chamber to weather this COVID storm and recover stronger than ever.

Please visit SupportEdmonds.com to support your Edmonds Chamber and make sure events that make our city so special return in 2021!

Please join us!

Rick Steves

Patrick Doherty

Maria Montalvo

Carl Zapora

Kelsey Foster

Greg Urban

Will Chen

Marilla Sargent

Brian Baird

Nancy Ekrem

Mike Rosen

Joe McIalwain

 

9 Replies to “‘Be an Edmonds Kind of Hero’ fundraising campaign aims to save 113-year-old Edmonds Chamber of Commerce”

  1. I totally concur with this effort to support the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. They are an essential part of what makes Edmonds so special and unique.

    After the COVID thing hit with full force, our family joined the chamber as a Community Member~ the category for people who are not in business. We paid for that membership from our “stimulus check” from the federal government, helping to put that money at work here in our own community. In fact I can’t think of a better place to spend some of that stimulus money than joining or simply contributing to the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. I hope all MEN readers step up and help, as much as they are able.

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  2. When businesses are forced to pay the wasteful and harmful Edmonds Ed! Alliance, something has to go away.
    This misconception by City Hall that business owners have money to waste, they need a reality check.
    When you are forced to pay one org, you sure won’t pay another, regardless of what they do.

    I would much rather have the Chamber, Ed! should be closed and not one business owner will miss it at all.

    Ed! is an ego driven waste of money.

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  3. When you make Edmonds residents wear masks…outside too. When you fine them for not caring…when you convince the Mayor to enforce…then you will get my money. Do your job and then we will help.

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      1. She is also a Democrat. She is also a tax payer..The light of HER life since SHE HAS NO children of her own is HER nephew. HE is 32. Because of the radical nature and non compliance and devil may care attitude here and throughout this country her nephew cannot get his path results, had to have cancer surgery postponed and may die. HE has Pilomatrical carcinoma. I love him more than life. As you dine, and chat etc. I cry for my baby boy who I cannot get to. THATS WHY.

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        1. God Bless you dear Deborah. You have my prayers for your peace and your nephews health. You have every right to give your opinion. Many here who comment daily think only their opinion is worthy. Shame on them, kudos to you!

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  4. The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce produces some of the most enjoyed and celebrated events for not just this city, but for many of the surrounding communities who flock to this area to enjoy them as well.

    I just put in a request for a Yearly Family membership with the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, which I think is a tremendous way to show support:

    https://edmondschamber.com/members/

    The 4th of July parade and Halloween events are loved by many, many people around this area. My friends and family are amazed and impressed with the Edmonds events that does so much to define our community character. Like many other people who have enjoyed them, I had just looked forward to them occurring, but did not give much thought into how they were put on (beyond being glad that someone was doing it).

    Now it has become clear that we really have a stark choice on whether to step up and help these events continue, or stand aside and watch as some of the most cherished Edmonds traditions go away. I hope that people who live nearby Edmonds will also reach out and offer their support for this beloved organization as well.

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