By Norm Benedict
COLUMBIA, 6/24/12 (Op Ed) --
Those who belong to the Columbia Hospitality Association
(CHA) don’t just work here. They live here, as part of the community, as neighbors, friends and family — to others who also call Columbia their home.
The Columbia Hospitality Association represents the majority of the City’s 35 hotels, motels and bed & breakfast operations.
Like the rest of us, CHA members care about Columbia’s good name, and want to see it thrive. They also want those who visit to leave with good thoughts about their time here. That’s why volunteering to help with the many activities and events that occur in the mid-Missouri area are important to them — which during this time of year seems to be an almost everyday happening.
CHA members give of their time for the many Missouri State High School Athletic Association (MSHSAA) activities, especially their state music festival, as hall monitors, timekeepers and other positions.
They also help at the granddaddy (and largest) of all such summer events in the nation, The Show-Me State Games. In helping bring the Olympic spirit to Missouri, CHA members have been recognized almost annually as the association with the most dedicated volunteer hours. Last year, just shy of 27,000 participated in these unique summer games. Every bit of help that can be mustered goes a long way.
CHA works with the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mid-Missouri Tourism Council to help increase educational and community awareness, it encourages and promotes what the area has to offer. For its members, CHA speaks to their common interest in the hospitality industry, including political action, promotion, education and industry advancement, in an ethical and professional manner.
As an organization that benefits from having events such as these held in Columbia, CHA members give back— in an effort to show their appreciation for those who direct and produce these significant events, and to the visitors who bring them to life.