Monthly Archives

July 2015

It’s Easy to Support The Connection

By | Chamber News

Most of us never really think about getting old. Even though we see our friends and family age, we don’t realize it’s happening to us, too. We seem to think we’re more like Methuselah and will practically live forever.

Getting old, however, even for the well prepared, can be hard. It can be lonely and challenging, and that’s why we need to support places like The Connection.

Connection 1“We touch the lives of 150 or more people everyday,” said Kimberly Coonis, the executive director of The Connection.

The Connection (which has dropped the “Senior” from its title) has roots back to the Seventies in the old Miner’s Hall, but it’s been in its current location, overlooking the Rodeo Grounds, since 1982.

Kimberly’s original relationship with The Connection began by volunteering as a Meals–On-Wheels driver. She now runs the place and its ever-growing list of programs. Kimberly was inspired to get into the field of senior care after watching her mother help her grandmother get through the last 15 years of her life.

“Family caregiving is the hardest job you can do. It’s emotionally and financially draining,” she said.

That’s why The Connection offers education and support classes for caregivers, as well as the Meal-On-Wheels program, in-home care, transportation, and their popular café, which is open to the public.

“People need help. They need a place to be and we provide that for them,” Kimberly said. “We care for people all over the county.”

Connection 2The Connection has grown from just a few staffers and basic services to over 30 employees and a laundry list of programs for seniors and disabled citizens. And more growth for the non-profit is on the horizon.

“People are living longer and seniors (65 and older) are the fastest growing population in the country,” she said. “So we need to keep people healthy, and physically and socially active.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge for The Connection is funding. While people readily give to causes supporting kids or pets, seniors often get overlooked. Barely over 1% of donations go to senior care. “Giving to seniors isn’t exciting, and people don’t think about it,” Kim said.

Connection 3Luckily, The Connection has made it easy—and tasty—to support the cause. You can dine for a donation. Their cafe and ice cream parlor are open to the public weekdays for lunch. Every time someone under 60 pays a mere $7 (or child pays $3) for one of Chef Erik Olson’s tasty meals, the money goes to help pay for the meal of a senior in need.

The Connection is also being supported by proceeds from the I Love Hailey Truck Raffle. The winner will be announced at Thursday’s Business After Hours at Goode Motors. So get your ticket before it’s too late, and don’t forget about our seniors. If you’re lucky, you’ll be one someday, too.

By Mike McKenna

This story originally appeared in the Chamber Corner section of The Weekly Sun.

Hailey Comes Out for June’s Business After Hours and Wake Up Hailey!

By | Chamber News

June is an exciting time in Hailey, Idaho. The weather is great, the flowers are blooming, the hills are green, the warm air is filled with the symphony of singing birds, and school gets out for the summer. So it’s only fitting that the community came out to celebrate the Hailey Chamber’s monthly festivities.

The City of Hailey held what turned out to be one of the most popular BAHs (Business After Hours) in years. Held on West Croy Street, between the Library and the Hailey Hotel—which generously provided assorted cocktails for the community—hundreds of people of all ages stopped by. Mayor Fritz Haemmerle briefly addressed the crowd, reminding everyone that it’s great to live in place like Hailey where we still wave to one another while passing by.

BAH 6The City of Hailey’s BAH highlights included delicious appetizers and light fare from some of Hailey’s finest eateries like Jersey Girl, The Town Pump, Lago Azul and Chapalitas, beer donated by Haemmerle Law, mixed drinks from the “Hay-Ho” as local affectionately call the historic Hailey Hotel, and the culinary sensation of the evening, Chief Craig’s Smoked Chicken. After the success of his poultry at the BAH and his chilly at the Firefighters Chili Cook-off, the Chief is undoubtedly in the running for the best cooking fireman in the nation!


The Business Card Raffle was nothing shy of awesome. Lucky winners took home prizes like a slip and slide from King’s,  free lube, oil and filter changes from Goode Motor, free Bike Share packages, a fishing rod and a tank of gas from the Splash & Dash in Bellevue, as well as gift certificates to popular places like Hailey Coffee Company, Luke’s Pharmacy, The Idea Shop/Sun Valley Real Deals and the Wood River Sustainability Center.

Other great prizes came from successful local business like Aspire Physical Therapy, Chic Nail and Beauty Bar, Christopher and Company, Growing Concerns Hair Design, Haemmerle Law, Hailey Library, JAM Design, Local author Dave Bingham, Mountain Rides, Mountain West Bank, and mason jar of Five Bee Hive honey.


June’s Wake Up Hailey (WUH) was held at Washington Federal Bank on Main Street. A few dozen folks stopped by for coffee and muffins from The Coffee House.


Esmeralda Palomera and the staff at Washington Federal did a great job hosting the event. Not surprising since the bank has been having a very positive impact on the community recently. Washington Federal teamed up with Goode Motor and the Hailey Chamber to host the first Hailey Family Carnival earlier in the month. The carnival was a huge hit and plans on returning next year. Washington Federal has also became the home of the shop local “Chamber Bucks” program. The $10 and $25 Chamber Bucks have been very popular as gift ideas for everyone from dads and grads to coaches and co-workers.


July’s WUH will be held at Giddy Up Coffee on July 14 in Bellevue and co-hosted by our friends at the Bellevue Chamber.

July’s BAH will be held at Goode Motor on Main Street and is being co-hosted by Sun Valley Title. It promises to be a big one as the winner of the “I Love Hailey Truck Raffle” will be driving off with a brand new, four-wheel drive Dodge Ram pick-up!

By Mike McKenna