Quality of life has been a chamber focus for a long time – News

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FILE PHOTO The Company K 81st Pennsylvania Civil War Volunteer Infantry marches in the 2016 Funfest Parade.

Quality of life and recreation can be promotional tools that make communities more attractive to business and people looking to relocate.

Even in its early years the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce saw their importance, having sponsored beautification contests and having promoted local and state parks, art festivals and trails. It always hoped the projects would provide an enticement for people to come to greater Hazleton while providing current residents with recreation.

Mary Malone, chamber president, said the chamber’s mission has always focused on promoting the quality of life along with business opportunities. The chamber, she said, plays the role of the welcome wagons of years past in communities, showing new residents what the Hazleton area can offer and how fortunate residents are to live in an area with four beautiful seasons, surrounded by pleasant landscapes.

Beauty and celebration

In the 1960s beautification contests were held and winners were awarded cash prizes and plaques for making aesthetic improvements to their properties. A one-day class on how to improve homes was sponsored by the chamber, too, as part of a nationwide initiative.

It’s annual arts festival, concocted by chamber’s Fine Arts Council, featured local talent and artists from out of the area. The festival began as…

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