ELIZABETHTOWN — Although Elizabethtown's Chamber of Commerce at one time totaled 60 members, the numbers have declined over the years.A meeting to renew the Chamber of Commerce and expand it to include the Town of Lewis was held recently at Adirondack Museum, with about 20 people attending.In order to decrease the workload, a co-chair system was decided upon, with Ben Morris, Chris Hardman, Bruce Pushee and Laura Steenburg sharing duties, along with Mark Hummell as treasurer and Gail Testa as secretary.Those in attendance represented a myriad of interests, including Adirondack Community Action Programs, Adirondack Museum, an art studio, bed and breakfasts, decorating, the Meadowmount School of Music, a motel, publishers and store proprietors."The place has changed so much from my youth," said Cheryl Olson, who grew up in the area and recently returned after a 40-year absence. "It has a different flavor. I would like to see it grow, but not too much."Elizabethtown Town Council member Joe Martin said he would be happy to help "bring life to what is here. Things take time, and work doesn't happen overnight. This is a great place."Former Social Center Director Chris Hardman is concerned about area youths."Many kids don't have dreams. We need to open their eyes to the world and where they live."Mark Hummel, a physical therapist, recounted his first visit to Elizabethtown. He had not heard of the town but was in Keene Valley and thought he would check it out."It felt comfortable," Hummel said, so he decided to settle here.The group seemed in unanimity about trying to get the word out, primarily through the Internet, about the Chamber of Commerce and promoting the area as a tourist destination.Another suggestion included creating a banner that carries the name of each participating business.The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at the museum. Organizers are hoping to double the participation.
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