By Audrey Spencer

The Cove Herald

After cuts were made to the Visitor's Bureau budget, the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce started looking for civic organizations to take over the planning and hosting of some annual city events.

"The chamber staff has worked hard with several meetings to come up with what events we must find another organization to take over so we can work within our new budget," chamber President Marty Smith said in an email earlier this month.

The budget was cut from $185,000 to $121,000 for next year, she explained, due to a decrease in hotel/motel tax revenue in the city.

Events cut from the budget that currently have no sponsors are the Copperas Cove Birthday Party, the Rabbit Fest Parade and the Lighted Christmas Parade.

"We found someone to do a trick-or-treat event," Smith said, "but we still need someone to take over the parades."

The chamber did not want to give up the events, but was forced to examine its and the Visitor's Bureau mission statements and decide what events didn't fall within their aims, Smith said.

"People forget we are a business, and events that take time and don't make money had to be cut," she said. "We just don't have the people, funds or time to do everything we've been doing."

Organizations shouldn't shy away from stepping up if they fear the effort necessary to put together large events, she said.

"If some organization will come forward and take over the organizing of a parade, we will help them," Smith said. The chamber will assist with planning the event and helping the organization succeed with what they choose in an effort to avoid disappointing residents.

"The chamber is always involved with everything in the city," Smith said. "If someone picks them up, that's wonderful. We won't miss a beat."

An organization interested in helping sponsor the Cove Birthday Party, Rabbit Fest Parade or Lighted Christmas Parade can contact the chamber at (254) 547-7571.

Contact Audrey Spencer at aspencer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476.

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