EDA organizing community event revitalization meeting

By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor

In an effort to try to pull the various groups and organizations together for a brainstorming session on developing an expanded community celebration, the Caledonia Economic Development Authority (EDA) has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers in City Hall.

“The purpose of the meeting is to collaborate with representatives from all community service organizations for the purpose of brainstorming ways in which Caledonia might be able to enhance and revitalize its existing community celebration events so as to attract as many visitors to Caledonia as possible,” EDA Director Jennifer Feely explained.

“We are in no way inferring that past community celebrations haven’t been successful and the individuals, groups and organizations that have spearheaded these efforts haven’t done a good job,” EDA president Craig Schroeder said. “But we have heard from many living in the community that they feel there could be more. ‘Why can’t we have a successful celebration like Eitzen or Spring Grove or Houston,’ are comments that we hear.

“In addition, there is a concern that the volunteer base for community celebration events is small in that you see the same individuals working diligently year after year to promote their organization’s event,” Schroeder continued. “What happens when those individuals retire from volunteering? Who will be available to step up and carry the celebration events forward

“Caledonia is a very generous community and has proven time after time that we can pull together to organize countless community fundraisers for folks in need,” Schroeder pointed out. “We just feel we need to try to pull all that energy and spirit of volunteering together.”

“Overall, the EDA feels that having a well organized and funded community celebration can have a very positive economic impact on Caledonia’s businesses,” Feely added. “In addition, the EDA feels that a successful community celebration will strengthen and promote pride within the community.”

“By establishing successful community celebrations, we hope to draw visitors in from a larger geographical area,” Schroeder said. “If these visitors have an enjoyable experience in Caledonia, they may decide to move here and possible start up a business here. The way to promote growth in our city is to bring in new residents and businesses.”

Both Feely and Schroeder said they hope to have this meeting be a brainstorming session. Given Caledonia’s geographical location and proximity to various natural resources, they envision a community event that can tap into these resources and create an event that will be competitive with other communities’ events.

“The goal of the EDA is not to take away from what is being done,” Feely reiterated. “We’re trying to find a way to bring people together.”

You can contact Charlie Warner at charlie.warner@ecm-inc.com

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