The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce is already preparing for Opening Day of the 2012 trout season at Roaring River State Park. The catch-and-keep season will kick-off on Thursday, March 1 this year.
"This is an important event for the chamber, because we are making Cassville a welcoming place," said Mindi Artherton, chamber executive director. "While serving coffee, we get the chance to welcome out-of-town guests and visit with them.
"We can encourage people to visit our local businesses and hope they feel comfortable enough to return to Roaring River and the Cassville area," said Artherton.
The chamber is offering local community members and businesses a variety of opportunities to support and celebrate this year's Opening Day.
Businesses and individuals are invited to serve as sponsors for Opening Day coffee mugs and T-shirts. Mug sponsorships are $150, and T-shirt sponsorships are $100.
Each year, the Cassville Chamber distributes 750 keepsake coffee mugs to anglers and visitors gathered along the Roaring River Stream on March 1. Coffee mug sponsors will be listed on the mugs, recognized in the March chamber newsletter and on the chamber website and receive one free coffee mug.
Local residents can join the chamber's festivities by volunteering to serve coffee and welcome anglers to the area on opening morning. Volunteers are asked to meet in the Les Jacobs Ford tent across from the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) Lodge by 5 a.m. on March 1.
"Without the support of our sponsors and volunteers, this event would not happen," said Artherton. "If this is something we want to continue to do, we have to have both sponsorship support and volunteers."
Volunteers and other community members are encouraged to purchase an Opening Day T-shirt for the event. T-shirts will be available in the chamber office two weeks before March 1.
"Our committee came up with the idea, and I thought it was great," said Artherton. "Last year, Jeremy Marple and Darrin Jacobs had made special 'brew master' shirts that they wore while brewing the coffee that morning.
"Everyone loved the idea, so we wanted to make shirts available to everyone," said Artherton. "They won't say 'brew master,' but they will still be great."
T-shirt business sponsors will be listed on the backs of the T-shirts, recognized in the March chamber newsletter and on the chamber website and receive one free T-shirt.
"I am excited about the shirts, because it is another inexpensive advertising opportunity for Cassville," said Artherton. "A shirt is something that will be worn over and over again, and since it will have Cassville/Roaring River on it, it will be great advertising for our area."
Area community members are invited to help design this year's Opening Day T-shirts. Residents can submit their Trout Day "catch" phrases at the chamber.
The Opening Day Committee will select one catch phrase to appear on the front of this year's T-shirt. The individual who submits the winning phrase will receive a small prize bag that includes a coffee mug and an Opening Day T-shirt.
For more information, to sign-up as a sponsor or Opening Day volunteer or to submit a catch phrase, call the Cassville Chamber at 847-2814 or visit the chamber office, located at 504 Main St. in Cassville.