August 15, 2009
LO member Canadale Nurseries now holds a new Canadian record. When 1,403 people signed in to the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce business meeting on July 16, at Canadale, a new national attendance record was established. The monthly Business After 5 networking event series is similar to hundreds of Chamber offices across Canada each month, but no other Chamber has ever achieved the success found in St. Thomas.

Chamber president Bob Hammersley is quoted in the St. Thomas Journal, “It’s a wonderful indicator of community spirit, and proof that combining a great opportunity with a valuable and fun-filled environment gets solid results.”

Canadale Nurseries is one of the largest garden centres in the region. The business is widely recognized as a community asset and leader with a great reputation. Each July, Canadale holds a customer appreciation sale offering 30 to 70 per cent off everything it sells. This year Canadale said thanks to its business neighbours, by using the Chamber’s monthly networking event. Members were given exclusive and preferential access to the sale deals before Canadale opened its doors to the general public.

The event provided live music, food and refreshments, and great door prize draws. This attracted 1,403 attendees, between the hours of 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. To assure accuracy in the count, entry was restricted to one large gate and attendees were expected to wear a Chamber name tag. Sale pricing at the checkouts only applied to those wearing a Chamber sticker.

The latest attendance record replaced the previous national record of 1,177, which was also held by the St. Thomas and District Chamber at Canadale Nurseries in 2007. Plans are already underway to hold a similar event next year, when it is hoped to attract at least 1,500 people. Hammersley expressed his gratitude to Canadale’s staff and management, the Chamber staff and volunteers, and everyone who worked to provide the program.

Canadale’s president, Tom Intven, is LO’s 1st vice-president.

Caption: Over 1,400 people arrived at Canadale for a Chamber of Commerce meeting.