'Tis the season to be jolly! Happy Holidays from the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce! December is such a fun month around town, and your chamber is no different!

Here’s a quick look into some of the things we’ve been up to.

As always, we kicked off a new month with a networking breakfast at the Crestview Community Center. This month’s breakfast was sponsored by Hancock Bank. Hancock Bank is a relatively new company to the Crestview community, but they have several employees that have been with us for years!

They brought the Crestview High School Chorus, who shared some of the carols they have been working on. It was wonderful! Hancock Bank also surprised us with a special gift. Bruce Vredenburg (market president for the Gulf Coast Region) challenged everyone in the audience to make a donation to the Foy Shaw Scholarship fund. He encouraged folks to do what they can, be it a $5 donation or a $500 donation, and he committed to matching every donation — dollar for dollar — up to $2,000! These donations will assist the chamber in giving away three $1,000 scholarships in the fall. It was an incredibly generous gesture and we are beyond grateful!

We had another Business After Hours in December, too. This time we visited Casbah Coffee Company in Historic Downtown Crestview. As promised, they had a delicious buffet of holiday drinks and treats. They also had festive music and decorations to enjoy while networking with colleagues and friends. Thank you, Bill and Tracey Toannon, for opening your business to us! We encourage everyone in the community to check them out for all of their coffee, sandwich and cinnamon roll needs. They cater too.

We had ribbon cuttings at two new members' locations. Congratulations to Reeves Manor and Express Employment Professionals. We also had several new businesses join us as members. Welcome to the chamber. We appreciate you all!

Bring your business cards and your appetite to our next breakfast meeting on Jan. 4, which is sponsored by Carr, Riggs and Ingram. The community center doors will open at 7 a.m. and the program starts at 7:30. With tax season coming up, you won’t want to miss a presentation from Destin Cobb, partner at CRI.

If you are interested in sponsoring a monthly networking breakfast or a Business After Hours, please contact us as soon as possible. Our 2018 schedule is booking fast, but we still have a few slots to fill. Reach us at 850-682-3212 or at info@crestviewchamber.com for more information about each event. It’s a great way to promote your business!

Our vision is to make the Crestview area community a great place to live, work, and do business and we would love to have your support.

Please consider joining us for any of our events or meetings throughout the month, or by becoming a member. We would love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have about the great things we’re doing.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you grow your business.

On behalf of the Crestview chamber’s board of directors, members and volunteers, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christie Cadenhead chairs the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors.