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Capital bound: Chamber up for statehouse trip

"None of us are as capable as all of us - nor as smart as all of us."

Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the county's chamber of commerce and its economic development group, used that expression to emphasize the need for the community to get involved with the Legislative Day 2005 visit to Columbus set for May 19.

"This trip is very important," Dingus said of the 12th year of the event that will include between 50 and 100 community members. "Of all the things the chamber of commerce does, this allows us to share our desires, needs and vision with our state leaders and allows for us to hear from them about a great many important things."

In addition to the idea sharing and networking, tangible results have come from the annual trip to meet lawmakers, he said. Examples include laying the groundwork for huge economic development projects that ultimately helped bring Duke Energy and Liebert Corp to the area.

Calling it beneficial for the entire county, Dingus emphasized that the trip is open to anyone who wants to see the county strive towards reaching its potential.

"The average citizen, who I would call a community leader, just needs to be someone who is interested in what is going on in the county and what is going to make the county better," Dingus said. "This community can only become a great community if all the citizens take responsible leadership roles."

As always the day-long visit will be divided into three sessions of particular interest to Lawrence County: Transportation, economic development and the budget and education. Lunch in the atrium will be highlighted by keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson.

Others in attendance will include Sens. John Carey Jr. and Tom Niehaus, and Reps. Todd Book and Clyde Evans.

The trip costs $45 per person and seats are limited. To reserve a spot, call (740) 377-4550 or by e-mail at glcacvb@zoominternet.net.