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We had a great holiday season in Bloomfield and hope everyone had a truly blessed Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.  December was a busy month at the chamber with many holiday, fun-filled activities for our community. One of my personal blessings is that I am surrounded by great board members and staff. We could not do all that we do for the businesses and the community without you. Thank you — you all make my job much easier.

Thanks to the generosity of our members, residents and local businesses, we were able to expand on all of our holiday giving projects and brightened many children's and families' hearts. It was an honor for us that all of our local businesses helped us in so many ways. Bloomfield is such a caring community. Chief John Mohler and his fireman had their fire trucks full of Christmas cheer when they passed out the goodies.

On Dec. 5, we had our 10th annual Christmas Parade. Our judges were Marcie Arnold and Dorothy Nobis. They had some really tough decisions with all the great entries.  Awards were given to Honstein Oil, Wagner Equipment, Orthodontics Inc., 4 Corners Antique Power and Guardians of the Children.  They all had wonderful floats. Santa and the fire department completed the parade.

Santa came to Bloomfield via the Bloomfield Fire Department and had some great helpers with him  — Rudolf (Ashley Price) and Elf ( Hellen DeHerrera). So many kids enjoyed talking to Santa, drinking cocoa, listening to the BHS choir sing carols and winning cookies in the cookie walk. Thanks to our many volunteers: Debbie Serrano, the Bloomfield Police Athletic League, Bloomfield Parks Department and the Bloomfield High School choir. We literally could not do it without you, so our heartfelt thanks go out to you all!

Dec. 8 was also the night that the chamber set out luminaries, lighting the way for Santa. We had crews from Boy Scout Troop 324 and leader Tom Smith, Boy Scout Pack 324 and leader Allen Roe, Williams employees and the BHS girls softball team and Coach Freddy Perez setting out and lighting more than 2,000 luminaries.

Mark your calendars for March 10.  Our annual banquet will be that night at Sunray Park & Casino. This event is one of my very favorites, as it is a way to honor award recipients, visit with friends and business associates and enjoy a great silent auction. This is a business-casual event, where fun is guaranteed. Our award categories include Business, Citizen, Educator and Public Employee of the Year, along with a special Customer Service award.  If you know someone who is deserving of one of the awards and would like to nominate them, you can call the chamber at 505-632-0880. We will gladly send you as many of the forms as you would like. All nomination forms are due back by Feb. 24th. Seating for this event is limited, so remember reserve to your seat for the banquet. Don’t forget that you can purchase a table of tickets and have your seat waiting for you!

If you are interested in becoming a member of the chamber, we would love to have you. You can email the chamber at askus@bloomfieldchamber.info and we will gladly get the form out to you.  We are always interested in guest speakers for our monthly meeting. If this is something that you or your company would be interested, please contact us.

Last, but certainly never least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone — the city of Bloomfield, all of our local businesses, civic groups, nonprofits, chamber members and individuals who helped make 2016 a good year for the businesses and community members of Bloomfield. We are looking forward to a brighter 2017.

Janet Mackey is the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce board president

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