34th Annual Benton Rodeo Begins This Week

One of the best of over 65 rodeos held east of the Mississippi River (according to the American Professional Rodeo Association) will come to Columbia County once again beginning this week, as the 34th annual Benton Rodeo takes place July 17-22 at the Benton Rodeo Grounds. 

The Rodeo brochure has all of the information, including ticket, schedule, vendors, sponsors and more. All shows are presented rain or shine. The shows on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17 and 18, are free admissions, while the championship rodeo is scheduled for July 19-21 and the Bull-A-Rama on July 22. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling 570-437-0081. 

On Saturday, July 21, there will be a leukemia/lymphoma cure walk/run at 8 a.m., followed by the special kids roundup at 10 a.m. These events raise money for their respective causes, and the special kids roundup has in the past benefited Chamber members such as the Danville Child Development Center and Camp Victory

Sponsors of the Benton Rodeo include Chamber members Mill Race Golf & Camping Resort, Ken Pollock Ford Lincoln, Seven Mountains Media, Steve Shannon Tire & Auto, WVIA, Williams, First Columbia Bank & Trust, Alexander Family Dealerships, Mahindra of Bloomsburg, Sokol Quarries, Atlantic Broadband and WYOU/WBRE.

Penn National Declares 10 Percent Dividend This Year for Business Insurance Program

Chamber members that utilize the ChamberChoice business insurance program through Penn National Insurance will receive a 10% dividend delivered back to them for policies written and retained during the program’s sixth year (May 1, 2016 – April 30, 2017), as Penn National recently announced a 10% dividend for this year. Members enrolled in the program that remained chamber members and policyholders through the end of the program year should expect to receive their checks in July if they haven’t already. 

Since the program’s inception in 2011, over $9 million has been returned to member businesses in dividends out of over $31.5 million in paid premiums. The average annual dividend return in the six years of the program has been 7.8%. Columbia Montour Chamber members enrolled in the program have now received over $231,000 in dividends over the last six years. This year alone, Columbia Montour Chamber members received $58,041.49 in dividends in aggregate. 

“This program is not only a great benefit to our members, but has made a significant economic impact by putting dollars back into our local community and member businesses,” said Columbia Montour Chamber president Fred Gaffney.

An important aspect of this group insurance program is preventing loss and controlling claims costs. Because dividends are based on the group’s collective loss experience, a business that may have had a significant loss may still be eligible to receive a dividend.

The program is sold exclusively through local, independent agents who can offer chamber members a variety of coverages and pricing on property and casualty insurance, including business owners, commercial auto, general liability, inland marine and workers’ compensation. Dividends are paid on all of these coverages. In addition, through safety consulting, Penn National Insurance and local independent insurance agencies encourage member businesses to develop safety practices to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries.

To see if this program could be a good fit for your business, contact Chamber members Associated Insurance Management at 570-275-0100 or Hutchison Insurance Agency at 570-784-5550, for a no-obligation quote. 

Chamber Helps Welcome Traditional Home Care With Ribbon Cutting

The Chamber was on hand in Berwick on Thursday morning, July 12, to help welcome a new business and one of its newest members to the area as Traditional Home Care conducted a ribbon cutting and all day open house. Several neighbors and fellow businesses, Chamber board and committee members, and a few local elected officials were on hand for the event in downtown Berwick at 139 West Front St. Following the ribbon cutting, attendees had an opportunity to meet the staff, ownership and management teams from Traditional as well as enjoy some tasty refreshments from local vendors.

Traditional moved into this location just a few doors down from both Walker’s Jewelers and M&T Bank and catty-cornered across the street from Bodnar Sales & Service in February. This marked the first satellite location for Traditional, which is headquartered outside of Scranton. It provides both medical and non-medical in-home care for seniors and other adults requiring in-home assistance. For more information on Traditional and its Berwick location, call 570-507-9425 or visit its website

Chamber Joins Nuclear Power Coalition

The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to join a statewide coalition whose mission is to educate Pennsylvania about the benefits of nuclear energy and the positive impacts of the industry. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania members include other chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, labor unions, the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors, and businesses involved in generation, including Talen Energy.

Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation for nuclear power generating capacity with nine nuclear reactors across five sites. In 1957, Beaver County became home to the first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States. Located on the Ohio River, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station was the world’s first atomic electric power plant devoted exclusively to peacetime uses. Unit 1 of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station outside of Berwick went online in 1983 . One of the largest nuclear power plants in the county, each of Susquehanna’s reactors generates enough electricity to power about one million homes. 

Nuclear is one of the greatest sources of Pennsylvania’s electricity, contributing thirty-eight percent of the mix, while also accounting for over ninety percent of Commonwealth’s clean power. Ninety-three percent of the nuclear energy in Pennsylvania is carbon-free.

There are more than 500 companies in Pennsylvania working in the nuclear industry, creating 16,000 jobs that depend on nuclear energy. More information about the economic contributions of the industry are available on this information sheet and at the Nuclear Powers PA website.

Member News – July 11, 2018

Member News

  • Walker’s Jewelers and Nespoli Jewelers will host a “Community Over Competition” event in support of For The Cause, tomorrow evening, July 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Berwick Brewing Co., located at 328 W. Front St., Berwick. Come and learn about the Teen Center and speak with local teens about their experiences at the Teen Center, which will mark its one-year anniversary next month. There will be live acoustic entertainment provided by Dan Hess, and complimentary beverages will be available courtesy of Berwick Brewing. 


  • Community Options, Inc., a provider of residential and employment support to people with disabilities, is seeking individuals interested in serving on a new business advisory committee for Community Options’ Bloomsburg office. Community Options’ mission is to promote the integration of persons with disabilities within the communities in which they reside, enabling them to become viable and contributing neighbors, employees and citizens of the community. The purpose of this committee is to discuss and implement ways to help the organization better integrate into the community and bridge the gap between the community and the individuals it serves. If you may be interested in serving on this committee, or for questions, contact associate executive director David McConaghy at 570-638-6007 or email. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 26 at noon at Community Options’ Bloomsburg office, located at 1117 Old Berwick Rd.


  • If you’ve ever wanted to take the Millennium Falcon into hyperspace, stand beneath a 15-foot AT-AT walker, or tour an Ewok village, come to LCBC Church Columbia-Montour any weekend in July. This month, all LCBC campuses throughout Central Pennsylvania transform their space into movie sets and this year the Columbia-Montour campus, located at 2421 Columbia Blvd., Bloomsburg, will be featuring Star Wars. Experience life-size, interactive movie scenes beginning at 6 p.m. each weekend throughout the month of July. Attendees will be able to: Take photos with Darth Vader, stormtroopers, Princess Leia or racing speeders through the forest of Endor; test drive from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon; see a 15-foot-high animated AT-AT and walk through an Ewok village; and converse with a life-size R2D2 and interact with BB-8! For more information, contact LCBC Church at 570-784-2132 or visit . 



  • LCBC Church Columbia-Montour will be a premier host site of the 2018 Global Leadership Summit, an annual leadership conference featuring business and thought leaders from throughout the country, which is produced and distributed by the Willow Creek Association. This conference, which takes place outside of Chicago, is live streamed via satellite to several locations throughout the country, including locally at LCBC Church, located at 2421 Columbia Blvd. (Rt. 11), Bloomsburg. LCBC Church is offering Chamber members and the public a free preview of this event next Tuesday, July 17, from 8-9:30 a.m. The “Taste of the Summit” is an opportunity to experience a summit session and leadership talk. Breakfast refreshments will be provided. If interested in attending, please RSVP by next Monday, July 16 at 12 p.m. by calling Pam Christine at 570-784-2132, or email. For more information on this free preview, see the invite flyer, and for more information on the summit itself, visit the link above. 


  • The Bucknell SBDC will host its annual Celebration of Small Business breakfast, which will also mark a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Bucknell SBDC, on Thursday, July 19, from 8-10 a.m. at the Elaine Langone Center’s Terrace Room on the 2nd floor on the Bucknell campus. Business owners, legislators, economic development partners and startup enthusiasts are invited to join the SBDC for breakfast to recognize the entrepreneurs and leaders of the region. Special presentations will include the U.S. Small Business Association Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Eastern PA, the Product Innovator of the Year and the Charles H. Coder Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, named for the Bucknell SBDC’s founding director. Register online or call 570-577-1249.


  • Bloomsburg University will present an exhibition of photos from a soldier who served in the Vietnam War. Titled “Blaine Cooper: Images From a Local Soldier in Vietnam,” the exhibition will take place on Friday, July 27, from 6-8 p.m. in the Gallery at the Greenly Center, located at 50 E. Main St. in downtown Bloomsburg. This event is free and open to the public, and complimentary light refreshments will be provided. Cooper will then be part of a speakers’ panel from 6:30-8 p.m. For more information regarding this event, contact Bob Heckrote, Office of Military and Veterans’ Resources, at 570-389-4696 or email, or graduate assistant Briann Halpin at 570-389-3858 or email