CAMBRIDGE — Members of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce were joined by elected officials and guests Saturday at Sailwinds Park to celebrate the Chamber’s 100 years of business advocacy and community involvement.
Tents were set up around the perimeter of the lawn, each one sponsored by a member business and representing a decade in the last century. Music was provided by the band “Uprizing”, games were available for adults and children, and an all-you-can-eat buffet was served.
President Bill Christopher introduced elected officials, who presented certificates and proclamations in honor of the anniversary. After a brief history of the Chamber’s activities over the century, he said, “There’s still a lot of work for us to do,” particularly after the changes and challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We started our 100th year with the theme of resilience,” Chairman Sharon Spedden said. “You look at Dorchester County today and you have to think it’s doing better now than it was two years ago.”
Cambridge Mayor Andrew Bradshaw said his family businesses are members. “The Chamber really does so much for this community,” he added.
U.S. Representative Andy Harris (R-1) noted the other significance of the day, that of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. “Let us never forget,” Rep. Harris said.
Over the past year, with businesses hit by closures, falling demand or even infections of their own staff, times have been tough for some. Mr. Christopher, said Ms. Spedden, had done effective work in helping member businesses through the difficulties, such as applying for loans needed to stay afloat.
Delegate Chris Adams (37B), himself a business owner with 31 employees, said, “It’s important to understand the value of Chambers of Commerce.” Delegate Johnny Mautz presented a citation from Governor Larry Hogan expressing “great respect and appreciation.”
On behalf of the County Council, Member Lenny Pfeffer (District 4) recognized that small transactions are crucial to economic health, something the local organization works to encourage. “We have the best Chamber of Commerce,” Mr. Pfeffer said.
Sponsors of the event were Provident State Bank, Feldman, LLC, Charles C. Powell Realtors, Whitten Insurance Solutions, Whitten Retirement Solutions, Hoopers Island Oysters, Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort and Spa, Fairchild Properties, Cambridge Marketplace and Dorchester Marketplace.