The Greater Rostraver Chamber of Commerce is proud to sponsor and co-sponsor several events throughout the year. Taste of the Town, Magical Mystery Tour, Educational Conference, GRC Christmas Party, Recognition Dinner, Fall Classic Golf Outing and Rostraver Township Christmas Celebration provide networking, advertising, publicity and sponsorship opportunities for our members. In addition, these events give business and community members the opportunity to share common interest in fun, social settings.
Please contact us to sponsor or to be a part of these events – 724-929-3329.
5th Annual Taste of the Town
Our 5th Annual Taste of the Town was held on Sunday, March 24th at Rostraver Central Fire Hall. Once again, our ticket holders were lined up in the parking well before the doors opened at 2pm. This year’s event had nearly 350 attendees, and 23 participating food and beverage establishments.
We had a nice mix of returners, who have been with us from the start, and quite a few “newcomer” establishments. Each of the establishments truly upped their game by offering their best and most unique menu items, offering larger than the suggested bite size sample, with most providing nearly full-sized portions, and many offering two or three different menu items. Joining us were: Bill’s Golfland, Keystone Bakery, Big Barn Country Store, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Rostraver Shop-n-Save Bakery, Brunswick Zone BV, Country Hammer Moonshine, The Tap Factory, Plum Run Winery, The Treehouse, Duke’s Lounge, Rock Run Inn, The Washington Winery, K-Vays, Alpine Club, By George, Woody’s Italian Restaurnat, Dale’s Place, Stoney’s Beer, Sweeeney’s Steakhouse, Vinoski Winery, Perked Up Cafe and Winslow Winery.
Attendees enjoyed appetizers, beverages, desserts, entrees, and snacks, in a fun and lively setting. The owners, chefs and staff were present at each of the tables, and personally talked with the attendees about menu offerings, ingredients and anything else that wanted to convey about their businesses. Coupons, menus, and marketing materials were also given as incentive to visit the establishments, long after the Taste of the Town concluded.
The attendees voted for their “one-favorite” establishment, the People’s Choice Award, and many folks had a hard time making their decision. In the end, The Tap Factory was named the People’s Choice Award winner for 2019.
Why Taste of the Town?
As with any event held by the GRC, there is always the “why” – why do we do it, or why was it created? Taste of the Town was designed as a way to showcase our LOCAL, independently owned and operated food and beverage establishments. I am an advocate for locally owned, (as you know), food and libations, as well! I hear far too often that the area needs this or that chain restaurant, and I am quick to point out our amazing and abundant locally owned restaurants.Taste of the Town included establishments from our entire service area, of all four counties. Any of the establishments are no more than 13 miles away from my office location. Sometimes you just need to look beyond your own front door, and experience what our communities have to offer. Until next year, happy eating (and drinking)!
Plans are in the works for the 6th Annual Taste of the Town so mark your calendar for March 29, 2020.
GRC Recognition Dinner 2018
The GRC Recognition Dinner is held each spring to honor and recognize outstanding individuals and businesses in our communities. In past years, the GRC has recognized small to mid-sized business, large corporations, non-profit organizations and individuals. All are important components of a strong and healthy Chamber of Commerce.
In 2018, we recognized Business of the Year Visionary – John LaCarte and Jon King – Stoney’s Brewing Company; Young Professional of the Year – Lindsay & Greg Winslow – Winslow Winery; Community Service – Captains Susan & Joel Thwaite – Monessen Salvation Army.
Chef Showdown is a fun, competitive event that is our version of the cooking show, Chopped and is held in May.
Our amateur chefs compete against each other in three rounds, appetizer, main course and dessert. In our show, no one is eliminated, a winner of each round is announced, with an overall winner at the end by our “celebrity” panel of judges.
The chefs are not privy to the items in their baskets before the event, unveiling the contents before our live audience. Of course each basket contains a mystery ingredient, or what we call our “Off the Wall” ingredient. The event is held at Off the Wall Arts and is a great collaboration of businesses working together. This year’s competitors were Jake Cuthbert GRC President (Waddell & Reed), Lisa Doria GRC Board Member (Lisa Doria State Farm) and Ron Pudlowski Member (Hot Shotz Photography). With Ron as our overall winner.
Tickets for the event go on sale a month before the event; watch the 2018 events calendar for details.
2018 Fall Classic Golf Outing
This year’s Fall Classic was anything but fall-like with temperatures in the high 80s, and no one minded! The golfers enjoyed early morning coffee and donuts, followed by the shotgun start, lunch at the turn, plenty of cold on-course beverages, and a delicious buffet dinner.
A putting contest sponsored by Baker’s Waterproofing, hole-in-one prizes by All Seasons Travel, MarBill Diamonds & Jewelry, and Performance Kayak, LLC., a “Feeling Lucky” on-course dice game, plus skill games added to the competition and fun. Golfer gifts provided by Stoney’s Brewing, on-course massages by NovaCare and end of outing chair massages by Chaney’s Natural, LLC., tons of door prizes, and plenty of raffle baskets put the event over the top!
My sincere appreciation to this year’s sponsors:
Key: C. Harper, Mackin Engineering, Monongahela Valley Hospital,
Premium: Highway Appliance & Television and CSC Insurance Options
Hole-in-One: All Seasons Travel, MarBill Diamonds & Jewelry, Performance Kayak,
Refreshment: Lighthouse Family Development Center
Golfer Gift: Stoney’s Brewing
Breakfast Sponsors: Keystone Bakery and Perked Up Café
Standard: Anden Chiropractic, Beer Arena, cfsbank, Commercial Bank & Trust of PA, Douglas Education Center, Fayette Legacy Partners of Janney Montgomery Scott, First National, Image Builders II, James J. Connolly, DDS., Keith J. Peer CPA & Financial Services, Keystone Bakery, Lee Supply Company, MGR Consultants, Mon Valley Alliance, One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Orthodontique, Perryopolis Flea Market at Perry Auto Auction, Rostraver Sportsmen Assoc., SafeLite Autoglass, Valley 1st Community FCU
The event would not be possible without our generous sponsors, donors and golfers, along with our dedicated volunteers and planning committee. The support of everyone, makes my job easy, and most importantly allows us (GRC) to continue to fund Scholarships to students at Belle Vernon Area HS., California University of PA, Douglas Education Center and Westmoreland County Community College.
Magical Mystery Tour – II 2018
The Greater Rostraver Chamber just concluded one of our biggest events of the year, Magical Mystery Tour – II. And although I can safely say it was a huge hit for our organization, I can more importantly say it was a big success for our participating merchants and our local economy.
On Saturday, November 3rd, 80+ attendees boarded two buses that would take them on a magical mystery tour through the Mon Valley. These folks put their faith and confidence in our abilities, as an organization to host a top-notch event, as they had purchased tickets without knowing where the journey would take them. Attendees were a mixed group of returners who enjoyed it last year, and first-timers excited to embrace the magic and mystery. We treated this tour as a new experience for both the passengers and the merchants with careful attention given to logistics and the details.
I boarded each bus to welcome and thank our guests for joining us on what promised to be a full day of shopping, sipping and tasting. More importantly, I shared our vision of wanting to introduce them to businesses that they were not that familiar with or knew at all. I told the passengers that they would meet business owners at each stop who would be there to personally greet them, shake their hands and thank them for coming; I even joked that this type of service could never be experienced online or in a big box store. I encouraged the attendees to spend money with these merchants, not just during tour, and not just during the upcoming shopping season, but throughout the year. I reminded them to think local and to support our business partners every day.
I shared with them the details of the event that I knew; 17 mystery stops, with several collaborating businesses, 15 commercial sponsors that filled their gift bags to the brim, and 10 business donors that generously provided raffle baskets.
Both buses departed at 10:45am from Lisa Doria’s State Farm office in Rostraver and headed southbound on Rt. 51 to visit Big Barn Country Store, Gene & Boots Candies, Winslow Winery, Perry Drug Store, Perry Floral & Gift Shop and All That Glitters in the Perryopolis/Star Junction areas. The second leg of the trip had one bus stopping at the new Keystone Bakery & Perked Up Café on Rostraver Road, and one bus heading to Broad Avenue for stops at Jazzy Boutique, Broad Avenue Treasures, Valdiserri’s Bakery, Country Store Café and Vintage & Vines. Early in the afternoon the buses crisscrossed destinations. The final leg of the journey included a stop at Itty Bitty Treasures at the Riverside Shoppes, in Lower Speers, where Santa greeted the guests, as the other bus ventured to Charleroi for a shopping extravaganza at Prima Diva Boutique. Only slightly behind schedule, both buses ended the tour at Brunswick Zone Belle Vernon somewhere around 6:30pm for an after party of food and beverages, raffle prize and 50/50 drawings, and a grand prize giveaway of $250 in Chamber Cash, plus a $50 bonus drawing. (The Chamber Cash is our way to make sure those dollars are spent with our participating businesses).
Our business partners not only stepped up to the plate, but they hit it out of the park with their hospitality and “red carpet” welcome for our passengers. And in return, our attendees showed their thanks and appreciation by contributing to our local economy, as spending was done in large amounts, throughout the day.
The Greater Rostraver Chamber strives to promote our business partners in every way possible and this event is just one of those ways. The “why” of this event can be summed up with this statistic: 1 day, 15 miles, 17 merchants, 80 attendees, $175/person on average spent, $14,000+ spent in the Mon Valley; let that sink in for a moment. Our success is only as good as the success of our member partners. And yes, MMT-III is already on the books for 2019.
Ladies Night Out
Ladies Night Out, held in November is a fun and lively event that showcases locally owned businesses offering jewelry, home décor, health, beauty and wellness products. The event which includes appetizers, cash bar, DJ, fashion show, games, prizes, shopping, pampering and a few other surprises, is open to the public.
New for 2017, Ladies Night Out will be rebranded and revamped, in to a new, exciting and progressive event! Tickets will go on sale soon! To be added to the Save-the-Date mailing, email email@example.com.
The Christmas Party, open to GRC members and their guests, involves a theme of choice selected by the committee. Last year’s theme Christmas PJ Party featured nearly 60 attendees in a variety of Christmas pajama attire, for an evening of fun, games, and prizes for all. The Christmas Party is the last of the calendar events and is a great way to celebrate a successful year with friends and colleagues.