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Column: Guess who’s coming to Camden?
Alfred Mae Drakeford (c).jpg
Alfred Mae Drakeford

There are loads of people coming to town! But, we have some very important visitors arriving in Camden this July. A component of the National League of Cities, the Small Cities Council, has decided to visit and observe our best practices. At the same time, we will have both state and local officials visiting, engaging with our guests.

The National League of Cities is an advocate for all cities and their leaders. They work to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. Their advocacy programs are second to none.

NLC’s small city members -- more than 80 percent of our membership -- bring creativity, practicality and a whole lot of pride to the organization. The Small City Council serves as a voice and advocate for cities with populations less than 50,000, and as a resource to the municipal officials who lead them. Through the councils, cities share ideas, creative solutions and strategies that work for the unique challenges that affect small cities.

Camden is so fortunate to be hosting this prestigious group in July. Prior to their arrival, we are looking for sponsors and we are fund-raising to ensure that we showcase Camden in her best light. We will be announcing city-wide cleanup dates prior to their arrival. Likewise, we will be asking you to help us ensure Camden looks great. If you have repairs, painting or pickup work to be done, spring is the perfect time to accomplish these tasks. Too bad our beautiful Azaleas won’t be in bloom as they are now.

When these mayors and council members from across the United States visit July 10-13, much of our time will be spent in conference meetings, conducting Small Cities business. Even with all the work, they will visit several places in Camden. They will be seeing our attractions and dining in our restaurants, with some meals being catered. We love showcasing all things local.

Without a final agenda, we feel certain the Camden Archives and Museum, Steeplechase Museum, Robert Mills Courthouse, Social Services, African American Cultural Center and Historic Camden will be featured and we are planning to hold our meetings at our beautiful Central Carolina Technical College campus. We are diligently working on the schedule -- not every hour has been filled. We’d love to hear your creative ways of promoting our hometown. There are many opportunities to be involved.

As a business, club or individual sponsor, you can help. Perhaps you’d like to sponsor an event or work session, prepare the table decorations/flowers for a specific event or the conference room, assemble welcome packages/donate an item for each package, volunteer as the official photographer, or any other myriad of ways to be involved.

 If you have specific ideas, would like to volunteer, or be a business sponsor, please do not hesitate to contact our lead event planner, LeeAnn Wall, at (803) 432-2421.