In the absence of President Beth Bess, board member Clint Wiles hosted the meeting.
James Bragg, President of the Highland Rebel Booster Club, discussed upcoming activities sponsored by the club, including the Third Annual Tailgate Party, held Aug. 19, to kickoff the Rebel football season. During the party, players were introduced on the field and a scrimmage was held.
Bragg explained that during the last year the club has completed the renovation of Rebel field, in time for the new season. The project put a "crown" on the field, added 250 tons of dirt as well as a drainage system and new grass. All projects are funded by the club and the ongoing support of businesses and individuals in the community.
The club has also completed the lighting of the tennis complex, purchased two water dollies which can be used by all sports teams all year. The booster club also hosted a spring baseball and softball bash, a basketball tip off party, gave public recognition to Highland All-State athletes, sponsored both the second annual golf tournament in July, which raised $10,500 and the Rebel sports banquet in May.
The $60,000 project that included the improvements to the football field will also include a new field house, offices and lockers.
The club is very proud to announce they have completed their portion, and the school has now picked up the project. The facility, when complete, will also house training facilities for all Rebel athletes.
Thereon Issacs, also a member of the Rebel Booster Club, spoke to the group and announced, for the first time in Highland history, the school will have a non conference volleyball team. Lou Stirling will coach the team, which will not play a complete schedule in 2011-2012.
The Rebels begin their season with the Junior Rebels playing Hoxie Sept 1 at Hoxie, and the senior high Rebels kicking off against the Cave City Caveman, their cross county rivals, on Sept. 2 at Rebel field. Bragg and Issacs thanked Mark Powell and Billy Smart with the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative for their help in wiring the tennis court facility. Issacs announced that Highland planned to bid on the regional tournament, an event that could have an economic impact on Sharp County, much the same as the state playoff tournament in 2009.
The Rebel Booster Club currently has 185 members and is seeking others, both business and individuals, as well as alumni.
Bragg also wants the public to know that on Oct. 7 at the Rebel game, the 1982 State Champion Football team will be at the game for a homecoming.
Pastor Chris Clem, with the Highland First Assembly of God followed, speaking to Chamber members and guests about the recent Backpack Extravaganza's overwhelming success. Clem said 925 free snow cones were given away, 300 hair cuts were given, many to children who had never had a professional cut and style, 126 wellness and vison screenings were given, and two children were recognized by the Shriners as needing treatment. The Shriners will pay full cost for the children and their families to travel to St. Louis to receive treatments.
Clem also commended the community, school, churches, the Highland School district, city officials, business and fire departments for their participation. He estimates 2,800 people attended the non denominational community wide event, that was hosted by the Ministerial Alliance.
Thanks to the generosity of the community and all involved, 820 backpacks full of school supplies were given to children in the area so they could begin school prepared for the learning experience. Clem laughed saying, "Next year, let's do 1,000."
Phyllis Gatewood announced "The Medic" scramble, a two person scramble golf tournament, to be held Sept. 10. The benefit golf tournament is sponsored by Spring River Paramedic Ambulance Foundation, Liberty Bank and First National Banking Company. Proceeds benefit the Spring River Ambulance Service's equipment needs list.
Entry fees are $90 per team. The deadline is Sept. 6. The tournament begins at 9 a.m. at Cherokee Village's South Golf Course. For more information, Gatewood encouraged interested persons to contact Debbi Kehrli at 870-257-2511 or the South Golf Shop at 870-257-2555.
In other announcements, the Fourth Annual Junk "N' Jam will be held Sept. 3 from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. at Loberg Park in Hardy.
Highlights of the event include the All Star Jam Band, as well as the finals of the Main Street Singer Search. The Bill and Alice Nix Petting Zoo will also be a crowd pleaser. Vendors are encouraged to bring items for sale. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org via e-mail, or call 870-856-3571.
The VFW will be at the event selling 1,000 thread count king size sheets and 1,200 thread count queen size sheets, as a fundraiser for the American Veteran's Memorial. The remaining balance on the Memorial is $24,000 balance, after a recent donation from both the VFW and Thunder on Thunderbird. The sheet sets will sell for $35.
Nelson Gatewood announced the ongoing sale of bricks for placement in the memorial wall. Bricks sell for $50 and are a wonderful way to honor anyone who has served in the military.
The last order of 82 bricks has arrived and Gatewood said they will be installed soon. The next brick order is expected to be sent off by Oct. 12, anyone interested is encouraged to get their orders in. Forms will be available at the Junk 'n' Jam, or at Ash Flat City Hall, or through Gatewood.
Before closing the meeting, James Bragg, who also works aside Chamber President Beth Bess at The River, radio station, gave an update on her illness. Bess was recently diagnosed with leukemia and has been in and out of the UAMS hospital for the last four weeks. Bragg said she had developed double phenomena Aug. 13 and was improving. Bragg said the family needs the prayer and support of friends and the community for her ongoing treatment and throughout her healing process.
The Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce meets monthly on the third Tuesday at noon. The club meets at an area restaurant that is on a rotation schedule.
The public is welcome to attend these meetings, which have various speakers from the community.