Hats off to Rusty Rogerson for his leadership in organizing a new Riverside Chamber of Commerce. The goals of the group – “to work with business owners to help them with grants …
Hats off to Rusty Rogerson for his leadership in organizing a new Riverside Chamber of Commerce. The goals of the group – “to work with business owners to help them with grants for things like painting the outside of buildings and finding tenants to fill the vacant store fronts,” according to a recent article – are right on target and more than the small group of volunteers who carry the load at the Riverside Area Community Club (RACC) can accomplish.
I agree with Mr. Rogerson’s statement that the city has done a wonderful job with sidewalks, streetscape and paving in recent years and that it’s time to fix up the empty buildings and add more life to downtown, but the article’s description of RACC as having “shifted its focus to fundraising for the community” is light years off the mark.
During 18 months as a Riverside resident, I’ve been amazed at the array of benefits RACC volunteers provide the community. A partial list includes showing free movies in the park with the city’s help, organizing and staging the annual Easter egg hunt, hosting Santa’s December visit to the fire station and sponsoring bloodmobiles.
RACC regularly distributes floral arrangements to welcome new businesses to the community and this summer put together a Shop the Park event to give a boost to local home-based businesses.
RACC’s fundraisers – TrekFest and demolition derbies – are themselves community events that provide close-to-home entertainment, bring customers to local businesses, generate publicity for Riverside and give churches, scouts and other local groups the chance to earn money, too.
RACC funds not spent on activities go back into the community in the form of scholarships and donations to scouts, school groups and other local organizations.
Interestingly, two of Riverside’s newest businesses, filling formerly vacant side-by-side storefronts and adding vitality to downtown, are Madeline’s Coffeehouse and the Uptown Lady resale shop.
RACC President Morgan Rodgers and her husband Andy (who heads up TrekFest), operate Madeline’s. Acting Chamber Director Mr. Rogerson runs Uptown Lady.
It’s good to see leaders of the two organizations pulling in the same direction. I intend to support both and hope you’ll do the same.
Secretary-elect Riverside Area Community Club