Chamber's mixer gets residents in holiday spirit
BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Community Papers of WNY | December 13, 2012
The Clarence Chamber of Commerce hosted its Holiday Mixer on Tuesday, inviting the entire community to enjoy great food, networking and a holiday celebration.
The party lasted until about 9 p.m. and attracted approximately 65 local residents and business owners. It was held at Protocol Restaurant on Transit Road, which is actually a member of the Clarence Chamber.
“It’s always neat to see everybody come together,” said President of the Clarence Chamber of Commerce Judy Sirianni. “They were all there to have a nice time and to wish everyone a happy holiday.”
Festivities at the mixer included a gift basket raffle, cookie bake-off, secret Santa gift swap, and holiday music, along with delicious food and networking.
Several local merchants donated gifts and gift certificates to be raffled off during the mixer. There was also a trivia game. When guests answered questions correctly, they received a gift. All the women who attended the mixer received a complimentary cosmetic bag to take home as well.
A cookie-bakeoff was held as well and the winner received a gift certificate for having the best holiday cookie. Caroline Hartzell won the contest with her root beer cookies. Each contestant baked four dozen cookies to be tested at the mixer by the party guests. Six different cookies were entered into the contest.
For the secret Santa gift swap, guests could bring a gift that cost $5 to $10 and put it under the tree. Each guest that brought a gift also received one. Sirianni gave each participant a number, one through three, lined everyone up and gave each of them a gift. She then gave specific instructions for each numbered group to give each person the option of swapping their gift. The gifts were swapped and Sirianni added that it was quite entertaining.
Many local businesses enjoy the chamber’s holiday mixer so much that they make it the company holiday party.
Each year, Sirianni and the chamber try to change the activities that take place and make the holiday mixer a little different.
“You can have a party every year but if it’s not fun, people start not coming because it’s the same thing every year,” she said. “It makes things exciting. The people we get at these parties are so nice and are out to enjoy themselves.”
The mixer is always open to the public and several local residents did attend. Sirianni said that she likes to invite the public to these events to give everyone an opportunity to learn what the chamber is all about.
She said that there are no obligations and no one is pressured into joining. The chamber wants to teach, as many people as possible, what it’s all about and events such as this are a great way to do it. The chamber is always welcoming new members.