ROGERS CITY - Despite a recent decision by Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce board to cancel its sponsorship for the events, the city-wide garage sale and spring arts and crafts show will go on with the help of city residents.
City Manager Mark Slown said he was told on Tuesday by Raymond Spain, the chamber's executive director, that the board had voted to cancel its sponsorship of the two events, along with Family Fun Day and the fall arts and crafts show. The reason Spain gave was lack of funding.
Messages left with Spain were not returned by press time, and board President Sue Counts could not be reached for comment.
Since then, Rich Warwick has spearheaded an effort to keep the garage sale event alive.
"A lot of people put a lot of work into it," he said. "I didn't think it was fair to them."
Business owners in town have offered to pay for the costs to make copies of maps to all the garage sales, which will be held on June 8-9. Anyone wanting to sign up should contact Warwick at 734-7154 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rogers City resident Debbie Stiller said she and some of the artists who have participated before are working to keep the arts and crafts show going. She's attended since she moved to the city nine years ago, and didn't want to see it end.
"It's a nice little show in a nice little park in Rogers City, and it's a charming setting, and that's how we feel about it," she said. "I think it's important, if we can, to continue having events, and if there's something we can do to help, we're happy to do that."
The arts and crafts show is set to run June 9-10, hopefully in Westminster Park. Anyone with questions can call Stiller at 734-7011.
The only involvement on the city's part is the use of its parks for some of the events, Slown said. This is still possible, provided city council gives its approval.
"If some people are willing to step up and say we'll try to make them happen, we can hopefully get them going and make them happen," he said.
One possible hitch is insurance. The city typically asks event organizers provide a certificate of insurance, Slown said. These can protect both the organizers and the city if an accident were to happen at an event on city property.
"Is that absolutely necessary? No, it's not mandatory," he said. "But it's been a policy we try to be fair about."
At this point, the best thing to do is move forward, Slown said.
"I think there's a lot of people unhappy about the situation, but I think we just need to calmly work our way through it and see what we can salvage," he said.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5688.