MRIBA took action, not one couple

The board of directors for the Mount Rainier Independent Business Alliance would like to correct some facts that were alleged in the letter printed by Randy Martin (Courier-Herald, Oct. 14).

In his letter he made the claim that Chuck and Celia Bender took away the “traditional light parade” with “no discussions with participants…committee members and businesses.”

This is simply not true.

Our organization has scheduled several public meetings as well as spoken with the mayor, members of the city council and all of our membership regarding this parade and festival. This was in no way a “unilateral” decision made by the Benders. Our membership voted and was unanimous in the decision on the final vote to move forward with the current format. The Benders themselves were originally split on the idea to move the parade time. In fact, Celia Bender, the event coordinator, was initially in favor of the original evening schedule.

We want to reiterate what has been stated repeatedly: MRIBA did not seek out this event but was approached to sponsor it. Had we not taken the reins, there would be no parade at all this year. The MRIBA will not make any profit from this event and may, in fact, lose money in producing this free community event.

Anyone who knows the Benders will testify that they work tirelessly for this community and all of its members. As a board we are thankful that Celia Bender is willing to volunteer her time, without compensation, to help us create an event the community can be proud of.

Jeff Schweter

Membership director


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