Published On: Monday, 08 August 2016

WestShore Chamber Partners With Rotary

WestShore Chamber Partners With Rotary

- Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250-478-1130 or

WEST SHORE -  In August, the WestShore Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Rotary Club of West Shore to support their 12th Annual Chili Cook-Off. This foundational food-focused event will take place on August 27th, attracting over 500 people to the Millstream Village in Langford. Up to 15 teams, largely drawn from local businesses, will prepare pots of chili and compete for the coveted Chili Cup.

Winners are chosen by the public and a panel of celebrity judges in an atmosphere of good-natured rivalry. While this is the Rotary Club’s twelfth Cook-Off, it is the Chamber’s first in a cooperative role, and we appreciate the opportunity to extend the WestShore Chamber’s reputation and reach by partnering with the West Shore Rotary on this event.

Rotary Clubs are made up of people who want to help others, and the Rotary Club of West Shore is no exception. It raises funds each year to support community, locally and internationally. This year the Rotary Club of West Shore is supporting the Pacific Centre Family Services Association new Centre for Well-Being to be built on Goldstream Avenue in Colwood.

Pacific Centre Family Services has been helping children and families in the West Shore since 1968, serving 1600 individuals last year alone. The new Centre for Well-Being will provide 15,000 square feet of program space. The Chili Cook-Off will assist through providing an equipped therapy room for the children.

Rotary Clubs are not unique in the good works they do for the community and every established business I connect to supports non-profits or charities, very often so quietly that you don’t even know this is happening. Stillpoint Community Acupuncture has just wrapped up its 4th Annual “Christmas in July” Food Drive event, encouraging donations of food and toiletries at their locations in Langford and Vic West.

Both Highland Pacific Golf and our West Shore McDonald’s franchises are supporters of Jeneece Place, a home away from home for families travelling to Victoria for their child’s medical care. Bitez provides the coffee at cost for the Chamber’s monthly breakfast mixers. The list really does go on and on.

If you’re a business owner or manager and you’re reading this, my first question to you is: do you support your community? As I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, my next question to you is: do your customers or clients know about this? If not, why not?

Banks and credit unions are quite good at promoting their community support because they recognize it is an opportunity to increase customer engagement and loyalty with their brand. The same is true for any size of business, and being able to grow customer loyalty side by side with your altruism is a win for all involved.

As a consumer, I encourage you while you are out and about to ask what non-profits your business of choice supports. The length and the breadth of the list may surprise you!

For more information on the WestShore Chamber of Commerce and the Chili Cook-Off, please go to