CheyenneDepotFILE.jpg

The Historic Cheyenne Depot in Cheyenne. WTE/Staff

CHEYENNE – In just three days, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce broke a record and raised more than $100,000 through new memberships and initiative-based donations.

Of the 7,500 chambers across America, only 60 have reached this threshold.

For its 2019 membership event earlier this month, 120 volunteers from businesses across Laramie County called their friends and fellow business owners to share the story of the chamber and ask for contributions.

“We’re just very proud of the business community in Cheyenne,” Chamber President and CEO Dale Steenbergen said. “They step up and support their community to try and make it a better place.”

The money raised will be used to fuel the chamber’s initiatives, such as Forward Greater Cheyenne, which supports community greenways, beautification and business retention. The chamber’s goal is “to make the greater Cheyenne area a more quality and prosperous community.”

“Ninety percent of what we work on is for people after us,” Steenbergen said. “It’s just humbling to see (the businesses’) commitment to that.”

Dennis Humphrey, owner of Capitol Roofing, was the event’s top fundraiser of the year, securing $12,630 for the chamber. His Capitol Roofing team raised a total of $30,226.

Humphrey said there was no magic pitch, he just reiterated what the chamber does and how it supports local businesses.

“It was a lot of fun to tell the story of the chamber,” Humphrey said.

He has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for about 10 years and was recently appointed to the board of directors. Humphrey said the chamber works behind the scenes, for the most part, doing impactful work that business owners and the public might not always see.

The other teams that raised the most money were from RE/MAX Capitol Properties, Jonah Bank of Wyoming, Burns Insurance Agency and Rocky Mountain Power.

Steenbergen said there’s value in having business owners talk to other business owners in the community.

“It’s a pretty unique approach,” Steenbergen said. “They don’t just start calling people. They call people they know and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you about why we live in a great place and why you should join the Chamber of Commerce to work on some of these initiatives.”

From the event, the chamber gained 163 new partners to bring its total to 1,023.

“We’re the largest we’ve ever been at the chamber right now, so we’re really excited about that,” Steenbergen said.

According to Steenbergen, the chamber’s continuous growth reflects the dedication of local businesses.

“Cheyenne businesses are committed to their town,” Steenbergen said. “They want this to be a good place to live. They want it to be a good place to raise kids and educate kids. They want it to have a future for that next generation.”

Margaret Austin is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. She can be reached at maustin@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3152. Follow her on Twitter @MargaretMAustin.

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