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Chesterfield Village seeks broader appeal via events

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

Chesterfield Village has been a place for Springfieldians to find shops and services, but the village now wants to become an entertainment destination for those in the area.

Mark Gideon is now the merchant liaison and special events coordinator for the Chesterfield Square Property Owners Association. Gideon, who divides his time between the village and Noble & Associates, where he works in community relations, began the job at the village with the intention of increasing the number of events held there.

"We know that the village is where you come for services and where you come for shopping, but we want it to also be where you go for entertainment," he said.

For its inaugural event, the village planned a benefit gospel sing to raise money for Gateway Christian Church, which burned in an electrical fire. The June 13 sing was to raise money to help the church replace what it lost in the fire, Gideon said.

"People from other area churches have really come forward and offered talent to sing at the event," Gideon said. "We've been really pleased with the response so far."

Each event will raise money for a local nonprofit group, Gideon said.

"I hope to not only raise awareness for these groups through the village, but let these groups raise awareness of the village, as well, through their membership, their boards, their supporters," Gideon said.

In July, Chesterfield Village will have an event called "Summer Date in the Village," Gideon said. Summer Date will be a progressive dinner, where ticket holders have an appetizer at one Chesterfield Village restaurant, salad at another, an entree at another, and so on throughout the evening.

The event will include about 20 couples, split into two groups, who will be led through the event by a local guest couple, Gideon said. That event will be July 20 and will benefit the Springfield Regional Opera and the Springfield Ballet.

"We hope this will expose the ballet and opera to a whole different market segment," Gideon said.

In August, Gideon said he plans to have a swing dance in the street to support the newly formed Breast Care Foundation of the Ozarks, which provides help to people who need second opinions on breast care concerns or transportation to doctor appointments, for example. The swing dance will be Aug. 28 and will feature a band, open dancing and dance lessons, Gideon said.

In September, the village will participate in a national event for children's safety and will hold an event to offer children's health screenings, finger printing, and other safety and awareness measures, Gideon said. For October, the village will hold a harvest festival and some holiday events will also be planned.

Gideon said he realized promotions and special events were lacking when he talked to merchants.

"It had been a while since someone had held a position like this here, and frankly, there had been very few events during that time. I wanted to get the number of events increased to about one a month," Gideon said.

In order to inform the merchants in the village and those who live in the nearby apartments, Gideon is also starting a newsletter for the village. The first issue comes out in June, and he said he will decide from there how frequently the publication is issued.

"What I'm hoping is that people can re-discover the village. Chesterfield Village is a really special place. I just feel more and more people need to come out here and experience that for themselves," Gideon said.[[In-content Ad]]

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