The Olive Hill Chamber of Commerce had several items on the agenda for their last meeting, including plans for the upcoming It's Fall, Y'all event, fundraising efforts, and plans to highlight Olive Hill's famous citizens in a new welcome center.

Starting with It's Fall, Y'all, Chamber President Lisa Messer-Conley informed the members that they are still seeking sponsors at various levels, from bronze to platinum. Bronze level sponsorship runs $25, silver sponsorship is $50, gold is $100, and platinum is $150.

She also told the chamber that the planned Zombie Run has been removed from the schedule of events, citing insufficient staffing and concerns about limited participation.

All other scheduled events are still on the agenda; however, the chamber still needs volunteers to provide music. They are looking for musicians or groups that play country, bluegrass, gospel, or acoustic music to play 30- to 45-minute sets at different times throughout the day.

In other news, Messer-Conley informed the group that the new Olive Hill sign has arrived and that the chamber plans to do an unveiling in conjunction with a soft opening of the Olive Hill Welcome Center.

While the Welcome Center, planned for the depot building downtown, isn't quite ready to open yet, the chamber has grand plans for the location. While they currently have several Tom T. Hall photographs prominently displayed in the depot, Messer-Conley said they need to get the images framed and under glass. The photos, printed on a heavy banner material, are currently hanging from grommets placed in the corners.

She said other items that will be placed on display will need display cases to protect them from handling. She also noted that while Hall is currently the most prominent local on display, the center will highlight all of Olive Hill's famous sons and daughters. The depot will also have a display of local railroad memorabilia in the middle room.

They also need to consider and make space for pamphlets and handbills from groups and attractions like Trail Town and Carter Caves, as well as for local businesses.

In new business, Messer-Conley introduced two new chamber members, the Carter County News website and Galaxy Gifts. Corey Claxon with the Carter County News spoke briefly to the chamber, explaining the online-only news site he runs and offering chamber members a discount on advertising with the website.

Messer-Conley also discussed the drafting of new bylaws for the chamber, a necessary step in their application for 501c(6) non-profit status, and updates to the chamber website. The website, she explained, lists all chamber members along with links to their business website or Facebook pages. It also includes a calendar of all chamber and community events in and around Olive Hill.

The chamber then closed the meeting after a brainstorm session for fundraising ideas. Among the ideas discussed were Olive Hill Strong t-shirt sales, a 50/50 drawing for It's Fall, Y'all, raffles and food and dessert sales. Fundraising is important to the group's efforts to open the Welcome Center as well as in supporting their various activities, Messer-Conley explained.

March of next year will mark ten years since the devastating flooding that shook the downtown. She told the chamber she would like for the group to be able to showcase how the community has bounced back since then.

"What can we do by then?" she asked the group.

The chamber also honored their Member of the Month, the Olive Hill Historical Society, and their volunteer of the month, Chelsa Hamilton, with a certificate presentation before adjourning.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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