Opinion

Homecoming pride could become Silverdale tradition

GUEST COLUMN

It was near the end of football season last year and the CK Cougars were on their way to post season play when I was at a lunch meeting with CK coach Mark Keel and we were approached by a group of gentlemen who wondered why the community didn’t rally behind the high school football teams?

The conversation left me thinking about the things that pull a community together. What is it that makes a community rally around its football team like those communities portrayed in “Friday Night Lights,” “Remember the Titans” or “Varsity Blues”? OK, so Silverdale isn’t way out on a central Texas plain and there are in fact three local high schools vying for your fan support.

What would it take to turn October into a celebration of football, high school homecomings and spirit — school and community? All three high schools celebrate their homecomings in October; Central plays their game on Oct. 17, Klahowya on Oct. 10 and Olympic on Oct. 31. Remember the excitement of your own homecoming games, high school or college, and the sense of pride the celebration brought.

I think it’s that sense of pride in team that builds on the pride of a community. Silverdale isn’t going to shut down for a night, or three, as fans flock to the stadiums. You probably aren’t going to see a “Gone to the Game” sign in a storefront window.

What’s to keep the businesses and citizens of Silverdale from getting into the spirit? As a business owner/manager, could you use “homecoming” as a theme to motivate your employees? Could you tap into the rivalry between the three area high schools to create a sales promotion that brings business into your store and celebrates community at the same time? Could you offer discounts or special sales to the students of a certain high school during their homecoming week? Imagine the month of October as Silverdale Homecoming month!

Picture the community awash in the colors of the local schools in snappy decorations or even simple posters celebrating each school. FYI — Central Kitsap = orange and black “Cougars,” Olympic = royal blue and silver “Trojans,” Klahowya = green, black, and white “Eagles”. As a matter of fact, the Chamber would like to challenge the entire business community to get involved in the Homecoming spirit. We are going to send judges out and take recommendations from folks for the best example of “school/homecoming spirit” at an area business. The winning business will get a year-membership from the Chamber.

The Chamber is going one more step in the homecoming spirit and will host “Silverdale Homecoming,” a dinner and dance on Oct. 25 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel. It will be a chance to come out in your favorite attire of the past to celebrate your homecoming memories. There will be contests, entertainment and more! It promises to be an evening of great fun.

As always you are invited to attend our monthly luncheon. This month we will host a forum for county commissioner candidates and the Auditor’s position. The lunch will be at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel. Advanced reservations are required for this luncheon. Don’t forget to come by Kitsap Mall on the evening of Sept. 24 for the presentation of the Best of Central Kitsap and the Chamber’s Accolades honorees. That event kicks off at 5 p.m. at Center Court.

If you want more information about what’s going on at the Chamber, you can subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter by sending a note to subscribe@silverdalechamber.com. If you have questions about anything in this column, call us at (360) 692-6800. Until next month, remember to shop Silverdale!

Darla Murker is the executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. She appears the third Saturday of the month in the CK Reporter.

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