Chamber of Commerce unveils promotional theme

Wallowa County Chamber president Nancy Rudger, left, and theme committee member Cass Botts shows off a poster displaying Wallowa County's new slogan, which was unveiled at an open house held by the chamber Nov. 18. The new theme is "Country Pleasures, Natural Treasures." Photo by Elane Dickenson

"Country Pleasures, Natural Treasures" was the new theme for Wallowa County unveiled by the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce at an open house last Thursday evening.

Over a year ago the chamber decided to offer $100 to the person who came up with the winning theme in a contest in the quest to sum up Wallowa County in the perfect few words. In the end, however, the new theme represented a collective effort by members of the chamber theme committee, inspired by many good ideas.

"Actually, it's a group effort," chamber president Nancy Rudger said, adding that the $100 prize will be donated to the Wallowa County Food Bank. "I don't think any of us realized what a challenge this would be."

Rudger said that the chamber wanted a slogan that would appeal to the people of Wallowa County and also be attractive to outsiders. It was especially important to be something that would attract the attention of all types of commerce.

The contest set out to identify a set of words that would set the county apart from other areas and it will illustrate what makes Wallowa County not only special, but incredibly unique and wonderful.

Committee member Cass Botts said that approximately 140 contest entries were received, and the ones that didn't immediately catch the committee's attention were discarded.

After winnowing the entries down to four or five, plus another four or five the committee came up with, they were put before local focus groups and then about four were voted on over the Internet.

The new theme is incorporated in posters designed by local graphic artist Linda Eytchison showing photos of Wallowa County in both summer and winter. "Country Pleasures, Natural Treasures" will be incorporated in all the chamber's promotion of Wallowa County in the future.

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